New scheme to protect people living in mining areas announced

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The government on Wednesday announced launching a new scheme named Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) which will focus on safeguarding health, environment and economic conditions of the tribals living in areas near mines.

Around Rs.6,000 crore will be spent every year on the development of these regions under the scheme, an official statement said.

“The objective of PMKKKY scheme will be to implement various developmental and welfare projects in mining-affected areas that complement the existing ongoing schemes/projects of state and central governments,” said the mines ministry statement.

“The scheme will also look to minimize or mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts and ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas,” it added.

The ministry has also released guidelines for identifying these areas, implementation and expenditure of funds under the scheme.

“At least 60 percent of the funds under the PMKKKY have to be used for high priority areas such as drinking water supply, environment preservation and pollution control measures, primary/ secondary health care, education, welfare of women, children, aged and disabled people, skill development & sanitation,” it said.

“Up to 40 percent of the funds can be used for infrastructure projects such as physical infrastructure, irrigation, energy and watershed development and any other measures for enhancing environmental quality in mining district,” it added.

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