Asbestos mining on despite ban
INDIA STOPPED issuing fresh licences for asbestos mining in 1986 to phase out the carcinogen from the country, but a recent order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) indicates that asbestos mining is going on in some states. This is also reflected in the latest mineral production data of the Ministry of Mines. The principal Bench of NGT, headed by justice Swatanter Kumar, asked Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Telangana, Jharkhand and Karnataka whether asbestos mining is being carried out in the states. During the hearing, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change submitted that it has never given consent to any mining activity for asbestos in the country. However, the counsel for Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board submitted that the board had granted consents up to 2007. Odisha Pollution Control Board, too, granted consents up to 2004.