TODAY -

CM eyes to regulate mining/quarrying
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 31 2019: An emergency meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Biren Singh to discuss "Regulation of illegal mining activities in the State" was held today at 11.30 am inside the Chief Minister's Officer.

The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Revenue, Forest and Environment, Water Resources, MLAs, DGP, Administrative Secretaries of Forest and Environment, Textiles, Commerce and Industries, Water Resources, ADGP and IGP, DCs, SPs, Divisional Forest Officers and General Managers of District Industries Centres.

Speaking to media persons during a press meet held at Old Secretariat conference hall after the meeting today, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) Dr Suhel Akhtar said that the Chief Minister was briefed on the orders passed by the High Court of Manipur completely banning unauthorised stone quarrying, sand mining, river pollution etc and directing the DCs, SPs and DFOs to take up immediate and appropriate preventive measures.

It was also brought up during the meeting that several daily wage labourers who were earlier engaged in such activities, have been rendered jobless, Suhel Akhtar said, adding that after hearing all points, the Chief Minister informed the members that steps need to be taken up to issue legal mining permits as per the rules, to mitigate the distress of the labourers.

The CM further instructed the DCs to immediately activate District Environment Impact Assessment Authority which will be assisted by the District Expert Appraisal Committee headed by the Water Resources Department.

The Chief Minister informed that the applicants will have to submit their application for mining lease along with the mining plan (prepared by a qualified/registered mine planner) for private patta lands for an area less than 5 hectares to the Directorate of Trade, Commerce and Industries.

These proposals will then be forwarded to the District Authority for Environmental Clearance and proposals which are found feasible will be forwarded to the Director (Environment) for environmental clearance by the State Level Expert Committee.

Based on the clearance, the Directorate of Trade Commerce and Industries will issue the permits.

In respect of waterways, the Chief Minister instructed that until the potential quarrying sites are identified by the Water Resources Department and a tender is floated for the same, the PWD will be provided temporary permits for a period of 2 months for certain quarry sites in consultation with the Water Resources Department on submission of their mining plans, the Additional Chief Secretary explained.

He continued that during the meeting, the CM mentioned that in such quarries, machineries will be strictly prohibited and under no circumstances will the areas in the river channel which has been degraded, be permitted for quarrying.

The CM further directed a joint committee to be constituted consisting of the Department of Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Forest and Environment and Water Resources, which will immediately take up an awareness programme on the process and procedure of obtaining mining permits on August 3 at the Food Processing Training Centre Porompat, at 11 am, he said, urging all parties concerned to attend the programme for necessary clarification on issues related to mining in the State.

Principal Secretary (Textiles, Commerce and Industries) P Vaiphei, Water Resource Department Secretary Jacintha Lazarus, Director of Trade Commerce and Industries C Arthur and IGP Clay Khongsai were also present at the meet.


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