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Social Environmental Impacts of Mining with special reference to

Rehabilitation & Resettlement

Mining of minerals , including coal, is generally considered as an environmentally unfriendly activity
which affect all the components of environment, i.e. , the society , the ecology (flora & fauna ) , the land ,
the water regime and the atmosphere . The impacts could be permanent or temporary and harmful or
beneficial. Global attention has been drawn towards the environmental impacts of mining and the actions
that are required to be taken for minimisation, preventation and mitigation of these impacts. Mining is an
activity which has to take place at the sites where the minerals exist, the site selection flexibility is not
available in this field. Since, mining and associated activities take place in a mineral bearing place for a
limited period of time depending upon the size of the reserve and its rate of exploitation, mining is
generally considered as an intermediate activity .The other activities, e.g. Agriculture, continue as normal
activities of the places. Hence, if suitable preventive and mitigative measures are not taken during mining
and also during post mining period, the area may not lend itself to normal use for the benefit of the
The society is the first area which affected due to mining activity since the discovery of mineral. The
preventive and mitigative measures depend on the nature and extent of the impacts on the society is
discussed in this paper simultaneously briefly proper rehabilitation & resettlement planning and
implementation is also discussed.

Social Impacts
The human society has various attributes , i.e. , population dynamics , education , religion and culture ,
sex ratio , income and expenditure , etc. most of which are affected by mining. As soon as a mineral is
discovered and proved and its mining potential is established the impacts on the ethnic society of the
mineral bearing areas start. It is a known fact that society of the mineral bearing areas in India are in
tribal belts in which the ethnic population depends on the forest cum-agricultural products . The
manners in which the society in and around the mining complexes is affected by the mining and related
activities are outlined hereunder.

1. Population From the time the mineral is discovered and its commercial exploitability is established
the population dynamics of the areas start changing. The rate of population growth increases with the
people from other parts of the country coming to the mineral bearing areas in anticipation of the
social and economic activities likely to take place when mineral is exploited. The population
increases further when the mineral exploitation activities commence. The population may tend to
establish when the mineral exploitation activities come to an end, the people tend to move out of the
mining complexes and ultimately only those who desire to live in the area in post mining period

Figure 1 (1)

a) Normal population growth

b) Increase in population in anticipation of economic activities with discovery of mineral
c) Population increase due to mining project coming to the planned stage
d) Population settlement due to mining project coming to the planned stage
e) The families of the employees and other persons start coming for settling
f) Normal population growth with the mining activities
2. Societal complexion The society of the mineral bearing areas undergoes a marked change,
especially in tribal and backward areas. This happens because most of the semiskilled and skilled
workers and managerial persons for the mining and other activities come from out side the mineral
bearing areas as such manpower is usually not available in these areas .The people originally living in
the areas in due course of time become minorities example can be taken from Dhanbad district in which
in the pre mining times the major population (about 90%) was of santhals which was the main tribe. In
1991, the percentage of the tribal in the district was only 8.4 %.
3. Cultural changes The tribal areas have their own typical and distinct culture, which undergoes
dilution and changes when the tribal people come in contact with people from outside having different
religions and culture. One can cite the examples of Chota Nagpur , santhals Pargana , Buster and
Chattisgarh where a sizeable percentage of the tribal people have been influenced by churches and have
become Christian.
4. Sex ratio With the advent of the people coming from outside the mineral bearing complexes
employees the sex ratio ( the number of females per thousand males ) decreases because most workers
coming from outside are single . As an example the sex ratio of Dhanbad, Bowra and Bokaro was 826,
811, and 790 which is much lower than the national sex ratio of 933.
5. Civic Facilities The three main civic facilities, namely, housing water and sanitation, invariably do
not develop to match with the requirement of the increased population in the coal mining complexes in

India. Invariably the employees of the coal mining companies and other industrial units have better civic
facilities as these are provided by the companies.
6. Education With the increase in the population as also the requirement of skilled and semi skilled
manpower. The educational infrastructure needs adequate development in mining complexes. The
people who can bear the cost of private education can afford to educate their wards. Thus, invariably the
persons who are affected by the project activities are not able to afford proper education to their wards.
7. Increased cost of living Most of the mining complexes in India are in forest cum agricultural
areas which invariably have a very low level of economic activities and hence low cost of living.
Discovery of the coal/mineral in any area and subsequent development of activities for manifolds thus
increasing the cost of living. Invariably the per capita / family income does not increase correspondingly
and a sizeable percentage of the population in the complexes has to spend more money for sustaining
their living as is evident from the percentage of the income the families in the two mining complexes were
spending on food items only.
8. Transportation and communication Increased population, economic and other activities in mining
complexes need adequate transport and communication facilities. In most of the mining complexes in
India organised public transport system is not effective and people are either dependent on their own
transport means or the private taxies, etc. The executives of the mining companies and other industries
enjoy companies vehicles. The other bottleneck in the transport system is the condition of the roads.
Almost all the mining complexes in Bihar have narrow and poorly maintained roads. Although
theoretically the communication systems globally available, i.e., telephones fax, e-mail, etc. are getting
place in mining complexes, the availability of these system is only to a small percentage of people. In
some complexes these facilities are mainly available to the employees of the coal companies and other
9. Medical facilities With the advent of increased economic industrial facilities the medical facilities
also develop in the mining complexes, which are invariably available to the dependents of the employees
of the mining companies and industries.
10. Recreation Exposure to modern living and different cultures in the mining complexes need suitable
recreational facilities. The organised industries develop these facilities for its employees and their
dependents by way to providing clubs for workers and officers, TV-network, etc. The other population has
to depend upon the facilities developed by the private operators, and the main source of recreation for
these people invariably is cinema.
11. Addiction The tribal and ethnic population in forest cum-agricultural areas have their typical
addictions in the form of their tradition brews, smoking, etc. The advent of population from other areas
and increased economic activities bring in other forms of addictions, e.g., alcohols, cigarettes, drugs, etc.
12. Aspirations The increase in population and economic activities and the advances in electronic
media expose the technologies, ways of living, etc., which in turn increase the aspirations of the society
in the mining complexes. In fact this is a continuing process and with the increase in aspirations the need
of the society also increases.
13. Income pattern The advent of mining and other industrial activities in mineral bearing in more
money in the complexes and at the same time the disparity in income tends to increase. This happens

because those employed in organised sector get better wages/salaries compared to those engaged in
their original professions.
Income pattern in two coal mining complexes (1)

Monthly Income

% of families at
West Bokaro



< 1000


1000 4000



4000 6000



> 6000


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14. Employment Mining activities displace people from the areas required for mining and other
purposes. In the process many people loose their source of livelihood and self-employment. Some of
these persons get jobs in the mining and associated industrial activities. Thus, the mineral bearing areas
experience a gross change in the employment pattern.
15. Health problem - There are several problem related to health of population live around the mining
site. Child may get shock- due to heavy blasting practice in the industry which affected there psychology.
Several problems related to heavy noise around- area of industry like increase in diastolic B.P,
nervousness, paling of skin, dilation of pupils, tensioning of voluntary and involuntary diminution of gastric
secression, injection of alderation into blood stream increasing neuromuscular tension. In addition of
these performance of the person may also hamper by this asthma problem is very frequently mentioned
problem in these areas due to large amount of dust generation.
16. Inter relationship

Inter -relationship of people also disturbed due to mixing of population. Host

population is not in a position to make a relationship with new comers as they have earlier in traditional
17. Loss of various immovable items The host population affected severely due to loss of immovable
assets like House, Land, Well. That totally disturbs the host population.
18. There are various natural gifts due to tribal areas on which these populations survive such as roots,
leaves. It includes
Loss of non economic assets Such as shrines cemeteries, community public buildings etc.
For rural Lost of fishing waters, irrigation works, standing crops, trees.
For urban settlements Loss of assets disruption of commercial ties with the customers, suppliers and
distributors can cause special problem for traders, small business, street vendors cottage industries etc.
For very poor Loss of assets or opportunities could include collection of roots, berries or leaves for
sale or dietary supplement occasional portage.

Resettlement Plan

Above points clears the damage to host population by Mining. To minimize this type of affects proper
rehabilitation and resettlement policy is needed. The underlying principle of rehabilitation and
resettlement/ settlement is to improve, or at least restore the social and economics well being of the
displaced population. This will entail rendering technical and financial assistance to the displaced
persons/families to enable them to rebuild (a) their lives (b) their self sustaining economic basis. Both the
people displaced and the managers of resettlement will face extra ordinary difficulties, particularly
because the starting point of resettlement is the setback caused by the loss of key productive assets.
Resettlement plan should be an integral part of the project plan. Where large number of people are to be
moved, such as entire communities, a more detailed plan is required than when only few people are to be
located. For success, resettlement planning and implementation requires close appreciation of the
essential needs of the settlers. Those responsible for planning the resettlement need to think about the
economic and cultural. Characteristics of the population to be moved and how these will affect its
response to relocation and its ability to cope in the new environment it is desirable to have the advice of
professional sociologists, especially when dealing with isolated or culturally non-homogeneous
populations, or with particularly vulnerable groups, etc. (for example, ethnic minorities, or women headed
household etc.). Planning for Resettlement should begin as early as possible
1. The Restoration/Improvement of the productive base and the income earning ability
The curx lies in ensuring that the productive base and the income earning ability of involuntarily resettled
are improved. They should also (a) share the benefits of the new development and (b) should be
compensated for the transitional hardships. The idea is to help the affected people to attain the standards
they would have attained/achieved if they were not displaced.
2. Development-oriented resettlement
Development-oriented resettlement calls for a change in approach. Planning and design should
incorporate that the development of social infrastructure such as schools and the health services , the
access to employment opportunities, the allotment of housing plot and devilling should cater to the needs
of those likely to the resettled. It should be kept in view that their family will grow and provision should be
made to take into consideration at least the first and second generation.
Similar approach should apply to the infrastructural systems comprising of feeder roads and water
supply, or service systems like marketing networks and agricultural extension. Future expansions should
be in-built. The process of resettlement is facilitated when those displaced are allowed to share in the
benefits of the new developments. For example, being resettled in the newly irrigable areas downstream,
whereas possible, or by getting access to a share of the new power capacities or revenues. Etc.
Following five points must be taken into consideration before planning of any R&R policy.
3. The social economic and cultural integration of the resettlers with the host population
1t is a slow process but an indispensable process, if viable communities, settlements and new social
networks are to be rebuilt. Such a process can be accelerated by proper planning that integrates host
settler development. Equitable treatment should be accorded as far as possible to both hosts and
settlers. If possible, education, water, health and other services should be made available to both the
groups, on equitable basis.

A suitable social climate needs to be generated for their integration. Any payment due to the hosts for
land or other assets, provided to settlers, should be promptly made as this will promote the development
of desired climate.
4. Resettlers Participation - Resettlement implies critical decisions regarding future of' the displaced
groups, it: is, desirable that their participation is sought. It is desirable that those likely to be effected are
consulted - directly or indirectly through their formal or informal leaders, representatives or
non-governmental organisations with respect to the social and economic aspects of the various
alternatives being considered for resettlement.
This will improve the understanding of their


resources and preferences

prevent costly mistakes

help reduce the understandable reluctance to move and stress associated with the
dislocation, and

accelerate the subsequent transition to and integration within the new settlements.

There should be dissemination of information about the relocation, and the following need be known to
those affected by displacement.

Resettlers rights

Compensation procedures

Available choices


The dissemination of information is the essence of participation and requires an organised and
systematic communication mechanism. There would be initial resistance or hostility to the idea of
involuntary resettlement and this should be taken in proper sprit.
Similarly establishment of good communications , holding consultants with the concerned groups and
their organisations ( local association, NGOS etc. ) and encouraging their participation in finding
solutions to the complicated problems that arise during the process of planning and implementation of
resettlement will entail favorable response of the settler and the host .
The lack of accurate information causes misunderstanding and develops resistance. A program to inform
and educate is therefore a prerequisite for obtaining the co-operation of the affected population.
Involving the local leadership and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is another basic

NGOs are apt to articulate resettlers needs and defend their entitlements

Traditional local organisations and the ethnic and religious leaders are usually respected by the

Planners and administrators should seek their involvement in planning relocation wherever possible ,
in order to

Facilitate communication

Mobilisation of group resources and co-operation

The various socio-cultural factors should be taken into account in planning and implementation
5. Alternatives
A number of acceptable alternatives should be developed. It should be open to the resettlers to choose
the alternative that suit them best.
Base line information and studies required for planning
Socio-economic survey of those to be dislocated as well as of the host population is a prerequisite for a
preparation of a proper resettlement plan.

Information on area to be evacuated

1. Census of population to be displaced demographic indicators with key demographic indicators


Family size

Growth rate

Social distinctions



Caste wise

Life expectance


Child mortality rate

Age wise


2. Inventory of property to be lost and their valuation

Irrigated land


Non-irrigated land



Cattle, etc.

3. Description of production systems existing in the area

4. The main social and ethnic groups


Landless laborers

Tribal groups



Manufacturer etc.

5. Forms of social organisation that operate


tenure system

Kin groups or extended family systems, etc.

6. Description of various groups at higher risk, particularly of the women headed households, the
elderly, the handicapped etc.
7. Determination of major income sources.

8. Inventory / Description of public or common areas, infrastructure and other productive or social
resources, shared or divided.

village school


health rooms

shared grazing lands

access to adjoining forest


Information and design for relocation sites


Identification of the new settlement sites - whether consolidated new settlement or fill - In


Survey of host population at / around new settlement; areas and their resource wise

Attention to economic, demographic, ecological, ethnic


other features that limit

respectability to displaced population

Estimate carrying capacity of existing resources

Potential for intensification

3. Feasibility studies, including assessment of new site suitability

Adequate water resources, soil capability, grazing lands, fuel wood resources and others
that are common.

Suitability of residential sites

Site preparation requirements charromg, leveling, tree planning, etc.

Assessment of required new infrastructure.

Tenets of Resettlement Plan

1 Development Packages and Strategies:
a) The backbone of the resettlement plan is the development package: That is the set of
provisions which contribute to the reconstruction of the production base of the displaced person.
The package must offer sufficient opportunities and resources for their economic and social
re-establishment as self sustaining produces or wage earners.

Two basic strategies and adopted for economic and social reestablishment of those

displaced from the rural settings.


land base strategies

non-land based strategies

Or a combination of the two.

In case of resettlement of urban and peri-urban settings, non-land base sources of livelihood
(e.g. The service sector, industrial employment, self employment) is the predominant one.
In Land-base strategies, proper compensation for lost property is an important aspect.

Providing economic opportunities to re-establish the displaced populations are

agricultural producers, rural artisans etc. is the curx of any viable resettlement.

Technically feasible agricultural production package are likely to be the main channel of
restoring the production systems of displaced persons from the rural areas.

Economic opportunities can be provided by building into the agricultural redevelopment

packages specific project-funded activities such as :

land reclamation
irrigation schemes
agricultural intensification
tree crops development
fisheries commercial or social

vocational training
off farm employment
other kinds of income

Provision of land bank may be a fruitful step.

Even when land is available, non -land-based strategies may be needed for some
displaced persons.

In situations of extreme Land scarcity, non-land based strategy become imperative.

Opportunities then need to be opened in the industrial or service sectors of the local or
those of the region.

Job creation through new investments in called for, because vocational training alone,
without actual provision of employment to those displaced, does not restore income.

When urban settlements are involved , the resettlement plan must give attention to the
complexities of

site ownership

legality of site occupation

site related economic (productive or service ) activities

Planned provisions to ensure that services will be capable of handling the needs of the
displaced are also, a critical part of the resettlement plan.

2. Compensation: Difficulties associated with cash compensation.

It is usually not adequate

One can spend & become popper.

Housing at the new site


Sanitary facilities

Health care facilities

Drinking water supply


3. Habitat

Better infrastructure and housing standards than what they were enjoying prior to dislocation.
The following, for example, is provided in NCL resettlement townships:



Hand pumps








Play ground


Health centre


Street lighting


Shopping centre


Children park


Panch bhawan,



4. Social Organisation of Resettlers

a) Social and cultural institutions of those displaced should be supported and used as much as
possible. Their own initiative should be encouraged through self, help & incentive program.
b) Many anthropological and sociological analysis or settlements schemes indicate the positive
role of own organisation & self management of those displaced:

A gradual transfer of responsibility from the managers of resettlement to those displaced

and resettled.

Action should be taken from the outset to prepare for the transfer of the responsibilities
or management to the displaced / resettled persons.

The emergence of recognised community leaders be encouraged.

This will increase participation stimulate local initiative, and greatly facilitate the task

The preference of the majority from among displaced to move in groups as cultural / social units
(e.g. as entire kin group, extended firmly, ethnic group, whole village unit etc.) should be
encouraged. Such group movement has the potential to get socially organised and economically
productive at the new location early.
Such arrangement for resettlement as cultural units would protect an important social resource the viable patterns of group organisation - which can act immediately at the new location to
caushion disruption caused by resettlement.
The resettlement plan must be drawn with a definite orientation towards preventing
environmental deterioration as aconsequences not only of the main project but also of
resettlement as such:
The key indicator could be the ratio between the incoming resettlement population and the host
population already inhabiting the receiving areas. This would measure the incremental population
density per unit of land caused by resettlement and the likely increased pressure on the area's
natural resources.
If the projected consequences on the physical environment are unacceptable, alternative
resettlement sites must be found.
In a nutshell a well balanced resettlement plan incorporating production based development
packages, adequate compensation, provisions for habitat and new settlement, infrastructure,
health & environmental protection measures, as well as the strengthening of social organisation
and local institution will initiative a positive response from those who are affected by


displacement. The coal India has realized that the major challenges for implementation of their
new policy and taken several steps and start several programs in this direction.

1. Training modules, Training of Environmental personnel, vol.-2, set 1, Indian school of
mines, Dhanbad.
2. Coal sector impact assessment of the Indian coal Sector : A CIL Report
3. Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy of coal India, April 1994.
4. Census Report of Dhanbad district.
5. Saxena N.C., Environmental aspect of mining industry, under press.
6. Personnel experience of retd. C.G.M, A. S. Prasad Mahanadi coalfields ltd., incorporated
during his tenure as a professor (as Rajeev Gandhi chair post) in Indian school of mines.
Annexure 1(1)

Social welfare Facilities Developed by CIL since Nationalisation


Coal sector impact assessment of the Indian coal Sector: A CIL Report)



at the time
as of
Of National1.11.93


----------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------1.


i. % of population
ii. Number
Population covered under
Water supply schemes
Quantum of water supply
(Million gallon / day)
Hospital beds
Schools and colleges
Bank branches/
Extension counters
Play grounds

54 36



5 833





Annexure 2(1)
Parameters for Social Environment



Resources and
their utilisation






Growth rate
Pattern ( caste ,
age , and sex)
Family size
Life expectancy
Child mortality


Health rate

Land and land

Self employed

food items



family & per

Annexure 3(1)
Population Dynamics of Dhanbad