TEMPORAL VARIATION IN GEO-ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AROUND THE DONGRI-BUZURG MANGANESE ORE MINES, BHANDARA DISTRICT IN MAHARASHTRA, INDIASANNIV SHOME, K. PATHAK, SUSHIL MHASKE AND G.G. MANEKAR
Mining is ecologically devastating, but economically very useful. These diverging needs force the corporation to follow mining both Public and private, damaging the environment or causing an irreparable loss to the ecology. Therefore, there is a need to comprehensively study the mining region to analyse the changes that take place over the years in terms of geo-environmental changes and their impacts on the environment. In the light of the above facts, Dongri-Buzurg manganese ore mines in the Bhandara district of Maharashtra has been selected for accounting the detailed changes during the entire 50-years journey of its existence. The Changes that are focused more here are geo-environmental changes over the five decades. From an environmental point of view, parameters like change in land use land cover, drainage pattern and base flow changes in the adjoining streams, air quality index, as well as noise pollution levels during the non-working hours are selected. This study showed that the drop of Forest cover from 42% to 8.1%, an increase in waterbody area by 2.5% and overall increase in the agricultural land by 42% as part in over five decades. This drastic change in pattern creates an unsustainable amount of pressure on the local ecological environment. In contrast, plantation over the mine dump and creation of buffer zone has led to some preservation of the ecology in its original form. Interestingly the village area over the decades is only increased by 0.1 %, which indicates that damage is manageable with proper planning as the population rise is geometrical in nature. Water quality analysis over the years are also demarcates certain trends in the area, with high mineralogical contents, which are found manageable with mild treatment. The investigation revealed that the depth of drainage base flow changes from 50 cm to 12 cm in the adjoining stream. The Air quality index was monitored with PM2.5 and PM10 as major parameter of the Study. The Above two parameters were found moderate within the study Area. The Ambient Noise pollution with a set criterion of 75db was analysed over the years, which indicated the noise pollution levels to be way lower than 75db during the entire period of Mining in the Study area. Whereas, a change of 30% in activity characteristics is observed in over four decades of Industrialization. The paper is an overview of man-made changes and its impact on nature.