TODAY -

TNL calls to desist from mining in Manipur
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 27 2020: The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) expressed its grave concern on the 'signing of MoU by Government of Manipur (GOM) with several extractive industries for mining of chromite and limestone in the State' during the North East Business Summit held at Imphal from November 21 to 22, 2017 .

A press release issued by TNL said that the MoUs include chromite explorations and mining with M/S Sarvesh Refractories Pvt Ltd, Rourkela, M/s Rourkela Minerals Pvt Ltd, Rourkela, M/s Kotak Resources, Mumbai, M/s Gulf Natural Resources, Gurgaon, M/s Visa Steel Ltd, Odisha, M/s Manipur Mines and Mineral Pvt Ltd, M/s Balassore Alloys Ltd, Odisha etc and for limestone exploration and mining and to establish cement plant with M/s Super Ores, Guwahati, M/s Gulf Natural Resources, Gurgaon, and M/s Ramung Enterprises, Imphal.

The release also strongly objected to the plan for mining in the State saying that these MoUs contracted with the companies by Government of Manipur are done in secrecy and violates the rights of the indigenous communities.

The tribal body stated that this act undermined Article 371C of.

the Indian Constitution by bypassing the consent of the Hill Area Committee (HAC), as matters affecting land, water, forests and tribal customs are within the purview of the HAC.

It also raised questions of claim over these areas as categorized unclassed Government land, because these are community land used for livelihood activities.

The TNL also questioned the soundness of the pre-feasibility study report (PFR) prepared by the mining company stating that Shirui (mentioned as Sirohi) and Lunghar is devoid of any forestland or agricultural land along with Shingcha-Gamnbm area and other villages listed for mining.

In ground reality, Shirui-Langhar hill range is one of the most forested and eco-sensitive zones - a habitat to important wildlife including rare and endangered lily species Lilium mackliniae (Siroy Lily), vulnerable Plyth's tragopan, Phoebe hainesiana (State tree of Manipur), endangered insects and amphibian species and the only water source that supply the entire Ukhrul town and neighbouring villages.

Stating that the proposed areas for mining fall under the Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspot zone, which is an asset for global common, the release continued that mining in such forested areas with rich biodiversity will undermine Sustainable Development Goals.

The Government should know that development through mining is not the answer to uplift the State economy as experienced in other parts of India and across the world, it said adding that extractive industries are the source of conflicts everywhere and it will only intensify multifaceted conflicts and human rights violation in the State.

The limited royalty through mining Cannot commensurate with deepening poverty, loss of land, exploitation of cheap labour, depleting resources and inequality among the already marginalized indigenous communities to satiate a few people's hunger for more profits.

TNL maintained and demanded the Government of Manipur to desist all mining plans and to respect rights to self-determined development of the indigenous communities.


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