According to Indian Bureau of Mines’ 2010 report on mining leases and prospecting licenses, West Singhbhum is the most mined district in Jharkhand, and accounts for almost the entire share of iron ore mined in the state. Already 44 mining leases for iron ore is operational covering an area of 12,374 hectare. As of now most of the mining is concentrated around the periphery of the Saranda forests. The plan is to rip open the seven hundred hills of dense forests where sunlight cannot enter, to 19 new mining leases for the private sector, covering an additional 11,000 ha (approximately). Add to it the concrete roads, CRPF camps and ancillary developments for mining- there is little hope the forests and its perennial streams will survive the assault.
Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
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