Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to all mineral laden states including Odisha to work towards ameliorating the lives of people affected by mining operations. States could draw funds accruing to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for implementing schemes that profit the affected people, he suggested.
The Prime Minister took stock of the progress with respect to the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKY) through a video conferencing. He was urged state governments to bring about a qualitative change in the livelihoods of people.
“Life of the people in these districts are very tough and there is a need to Ease of Living” of the people”, Modi said in his address.
Utmost priority ought to be given by state governments in dealing with people impacted by mining activities and also on the effective implementation of PMKKY.
Union Secretary Mines, Anil G Mukim has reiterated Prime Minister’s direction and has asked the State Government to ensure that funds collected under DMF shall specifically be utilized to bring about a qualitative change in the lives of the people.
The State Government shall have to identify 2-3 problem areas in each district and prepare projects to address the identified problems, said Mukim.
Union Secretary has given detailed direction in this regard and has pointed out to the State Government that it will have to ensure that schemes taken up under PMKKY shall be in nature of supplementary to the development and welfare activities undertaken by the States under the State Plan.
Mukim has said that the DMFs of those districts, which fall under the category of the Aspirational Districts’ Program of NITI Aayog, shall ensure that funds accumulated under DMF specifically be utilized in line with the performance indicators chosen to measure progress of these districts.
While Plan of Action will be prepared and implemented by the State Government, Action Taken Report (ATR) is to submitted to the Ministry of Mines at the earliest, said Mukim.
ATR will be reviewed at the highest level, said the Union Secretary, who is also continuously monitoring the PMKKY and DMF spending.
With more than Rs 12,000 Crore funds available with the State Government for development of the Mineral Bearing Areas, it has been decided to give a major boost for the livelihood sector in these areas of the state.
Looking at the vast scope of development livelihood sector, it has been decided to set up Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Livelihood Mission, so that major livelihood projects will be taken up and monitored in the mineral bearing areas of the state.
According to latest report a total of Rs 12,845 crore compensation money received from the mining leases have been placed in the Public Account of the state government.
Adhoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning (CAMPA) Funds of Rs 445 Crore is also available with the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), said official sources.