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Odisha to allow mining for captive use only, gives miners three days to comply

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NEW DELHI/BHUBANESHWAR: The iron-ore mining industry in Odisha is facing its worst ever crisis, after 10 large iron-ore mines in the state were directed to either stop or curtail mining operations. The state has decided that mining will henceforth only be allowed for captive use and has told miners whose leases are up for renewal that they have three days to comply.

Of the 10 large mines in Joda district, two mines belong to Aditya Birla Group’s unlisted mining arm – Essel Mining, which has no steel plant. The other two on the list, belong to SAILBSE 0.19 % and Tata Steel, who as per the new orders, will only be allowed to mine what they need, so that the life of the mines can last for the next 30 years.

The notice gives them three days to comply. The Birla Group spokesperson declined to comment, stating that Essel Mining is not a listed company. An email questionnaire sent to Tata SteelBSE 0.13 % went unanswered. Read more

Hurricane Sandy: Nuclear plant on New Jersey coast on alert

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The nation’s oldest nuclear power plant, already out of service for scheduled refueling, was put on alert late on Monday after waters fromSuperstorm Sandyrose 6 feet above sea level.

Watch Satellite Obserbation of Hurricanesandy

Conditions were still safe at and around Oyster Creek, a plant in Lacey Township, N.J., and at all other U.S. nuclear plants, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees plant safety. No plants that had been up and running before the storm were planning to shut down.

High water levels at Oyster Creek, which generates enoughelectricity to power 600,000 homesa year, prompted safety officials to declare an “unusual event” around 7 p.m. About two hours later, the situation was upgraded to an “alert,” the second-lowest in a four-tiered warning system.

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Courtesy: India Today

Naveen Jindal trains gun on activist even as Sonia takes RTI credit

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New Delhi: It is an irony of humungous proportions. While on the one hand Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is going to town claiming credit for bringing in the RTI Act to fight corruption, on the other hand, one of her own party MPs, Naveen Jindal, is allegedly leaving no stone unturned to persecute RTI activists.

Speaking at a rally in Mangalore, Karnataka on Thursday, Sonia Gandhi had said that it was UPA, not NDA, which brought in the RTI Act because of which “scandals are stumbling out”.

And just as she was making the address implying her party had empowered people, two accused were surrendering in Raigarh in a case of attempted murder of RTI activist Ramesh Agrawal, the conspiracy of which was allegedly hatched by steel magnate Naveen Jindal.

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Arrest Jindal for abetting a criminal act of violence: mm&P

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The national alliance of mining affected communities and support groups demanded the immediate arrest of Mr. Naveen Jindal

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‘Khambhat agate workers living in bitter conditions’

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VADODARA: A first of its kind survey done by People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC) – an NGO -among the agate workers of Khambhat has thrown up some shocking facts, which adds to the troubles of policy makers who haven’t even found a solution to early deaths due to silicosis among these workers.

Silicosis is an occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of mineral dust.

The survey conducted among 4,570 workers has revealed that there are large number of child labourers engaged in the trade and many of them are addicted to tobacco. Further, factory laws or Shops and Establishment Acts are not applied in several cases even though 40.43% workers work in employers’ houses while 58.84% work in their own homes. Read more

Courtesy by: THE TIMES OF INDIA -Vadadora

Bandipur Tiger Reserve declared an Eco-Sensitive Zone

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Bandipur Tiger Reserve has been declared an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ), and has become the first tiger reserve in the country to get this elite tag. Officials at the reserve told DNA that the ESZs were considered as ‘breathing spaces’ for wildlife, but what was more important was that they were of paramount ecological importance. Read more

Courtesy by: DNA

Real property dealers are in Parl: Land reform activist

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The multi-ministerial task force set up to draft a national land reforms policy held its first meeting yesterday (17 October). The government is on a six-month deadline. If it fails to meet it, one lakh landless poor who were scheduled to arrive on foot in Delhi on 28 October will resume the ‘jan satyagraha’ in March 2013.

On 11 October, the jan satyagrahis called off their march in Agra after the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh signed an agreement with them to address their demands – land for the landless and home for the poor.

The man leading them PV Rajagopal, founder and president of Ekta Parishad, travelled 80,000 km through 24 states in the last one year mobilizing people fighting for their livelihood, before he began his ‘Freedom Walk’ from Gwalior on 2 October. Read more

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