Report by HIL Limited on asbestos mines, Roro hills, Chaibasa, West Singhbum, Jharkhand, 29/09/2020
Report by HIL Limited in the matter of Kalyan Bansingh & Others Vs HIL Limited & Others dated 29/09/2020. HIL stated that the Department of Mines & Geology, Government of Jharkhand compliance report of August 9, 2020 had proceeded on an incorrect and baseless assumption that safety measures for restitution of the asbestos mines in Roro hills, Chaibasa, West Singhbum - to mitigate environmental and health impact were not taken. Further, steps to mitigate environmental and health impact were not taken and that asbestos dust based pollution continued to be emitted resulting in health hazards and contamination of ponds and streams.
The compliance report also assumed that there was environmental damage as well as the supposed claim of asbestosis to the individual applicants.
The asbestos mines were closed in 1983 and they had surrendered the mines in 1984 and the same was accepted by the Government of Bihar in 1985, the HIL report said. The Government of Bihar thereafer renotified the mine for granting fresh lease to the prospective lessees during the relevant time. It is submitted that acceptance of the duly surrendered mine by the Government of Bihar (now Jharkhand) and renotification thereafter establishes that the surrender of the mines by HIL was proper and fully compliant with the then prevalent laws. Post surrender of the mines after 1985, the possession of the subject mine was solely and exclusively with the state of Bihar (now with the state of Jharkhand) till date. Therefore, HIL cannot be termed as polluter.