Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh has passed a cabinet decision that prohibits the quarrying of minerals from river beds using heavy machines.
He stated this on February 28 during the ongoing 3rd session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly as a response to the calling attention motion moved by Congress MLA of Khangabok constituency, Surjakumar Okram.
Surjakumar said that the Thoubal River is worsening each year due to the constant illegal quarrying of sand and stone. High Court of Manipur has passed judgement and the concerned department also issued an order to control illegal mining activities in the state. Yet mining is still continuing in many places of Thoubal River in a reckless manner.
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The earth excavated using a heavy machine from nearby places is directly washed or processed at upstream of Maphou Dam or Thoubal Dam. Because of these reasons, the entire course of the Thoubal River is highly polluted.
“The Thoubal River has been polluted to such a level that not only human but even an animal is unfit to consume its water. The deterioration of Thoubal River aggravates the problem of water scarcity in the region,” he explained while stating that there is a need for a collective effort from all concerned including the home department, the department of commerce and industry, the department of forest and the department of water resources to stop illegal mining successfully.
He urged state government to take up concrete steps or regulation that prevent deterioration of river and doesn’t affect livelihood of poor people who engaged in quarrying activities.
Responding to it, CM, N Biren Singh said that problem of illegal mining in Thoubal River is a serious issue. Taking the matter seriously, the state government had nabbed many people involved in illegal mining from time to time but release them after sometime according to court procedure. Despite state government is putting all effort to end this, the state government still unable to completely stop this illegal activity.
State cabinet had recently resolved to issue an order which will strictly monitor the large-scale illegal mining from river bed by using heavy machine. This will effectively prevent anybody to carry out this activity that hugely affected to river and the environment. The order will however accept mining done by poor people in small scale manually, he added.
He also informed that the state government identified most of places where illegal mining is unstoppably continuing. Environment impact assessment of such places will carry out.
CM also draws attention of people of state to extend their support and effort in conservation of natural resources.
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