|JATAM - Mining Advocacy Network|
|Explosion in Sawahlunto mining area, a Portrait of State Failure in Governing People’s Safety|
The explosion of coal mining in Mining Rights (KP) owned by PT. Dasrat Sarana Arang Sejati (DSAS) in Ngalau Cigak, Talawi Sub-district, Sawahlunto, on January 24, was the fifth since 2007. The tragedy has claimed five lives mine workers. The biggest explosion was on June 16, 2009 that has claimed 33 lives mine workers.
That series of explosion which occurred repeatedly is one of the proof that extractive industry only pursue for profit by ignoring people’s safety and environmental carrying capacity. Someone’s life seems cheap, laborers who worked with death was only paid Rp. 100,000 to Rp. 150,000 per week. Not to mention the suffering of these people caused by the loss of their life space and safety. As if it has been the character of the mining industry, that extracts heavily and sell quickly without aware to people’s safety and environmental carrying capacity.
In this case, the government has neglectful and absent in governing people’s safety. The fact of tens victims that died caused by the same cases has not urged the government to take a firm action on those mining companies. Those incidents that occurred repeatedly supposed to urge the government to establish tighter regulation to ensure the safety of people and environments that have been destroyed by mining activity.
The shadow of crisis against life space and people safety become more real. Decentralization policy on the management of mineral and coal (Minerba) resources that contained in Law No. 4 year 2009 of Minerba, is not accompanied by a strict control mechanism. JATAM noted that during 2009 until 2013, mining permits have surged from around 3,000 to more than 11,000 mining permits. It is not surprising, that haphazard licensing given by the Regional Head with arguing on Local Income (PAD) optimization seems to be a trend. Clearly, the conspiracy between businessmen and government to pursue economic rent was increasingly displacing peoples’ safety and life space.
If they aware and careful of peoples’ safety, the government should not hesitate to stop mining industry. The government must be able to give a dignified life for the citizens. A series of incidents that causing tens lives died is enough to determine the standpoint that the mining industry is not the main option to fulfill economic needs of a Nation.
JATAM, January 27 2014
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