TODAY -

Mining tussles in Manipur

Jajo Themson *



Introduction: Mining, considered one of the major economic sources of India, has long been associated with numerous controversies. And still it is a great initiative of economic activity which has significant contributions to the Indian economy. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of the Mining sector varies from 2.2% to 2.5% but going by the GDP of the total industrial sector, it contributes around 10% to 11%. Even mining in the small scale contributes 6% to the entire cost of mineral production. It's said that Indian mining provides job opportunities to about 7 lakhs individuals.

However, the Mining Industry is unscrupulous on dimensional human right violations and environmental pollutions. Mining activities are usually associated with multiple discords being the principal targets of the multi-national Corporate and companies are profiteering and plundering of resources with no serious concern for negative impacts of loss and damages cause to land, forest, rivers and communities rights over their standing assets.

Several tussles are commonly involved in this sector where lack of proper consultation, undermining the rights of spontaneous and independent decision of indigenous land and resource owners, absence of transparency & accountability, lack of detail impacts assessments and deadlock over constitutional framework. The industry also faced severe jolts of high profile mining scandals.

Besides this, explosion of methane gas, cold dust, carbon monoxide poisoning, dead blow to eco-system and Environment like pollution of river water, ponds and surrounding, deforestation affecting to human and animal habitation, social displacement due to wide area coverage or for safety on contamination of water and poisoning of nearby trees and threat of radiation and dimensional human rights violation on militarization are common issues related to mining projects.

Numerous multinational companies are now on the race to mining minerals across India's North East region. Recently, Korean companies like South Korean's company, Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), the world's second-biggest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importer from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Nicobar Island, is keen to explore opportunities in Nagaland and ink agreement for possible investment on limestone and also develop LNG export unit in the state as transit point for export to other ASEAN countries, this was informed through CMO Media Cell on The Sunday.

Minerals reserve of Manipur: Manipur is embarking on extensive mining processes. According to the Directorate of Industries Govt, of Manipur, the probable Chromites reserve in Manipur is about 5,45,500 tones out of which 4,51,000 tones are found in Ukhrul and 94,500 tones in Chandel district. Limestone deposits are located in the ophiolite melange and oceanic pelagic sediments in Ukhrul and Chandel District.

Gross limestone reserve of Manipur is estimated to about 1,33,03,000 tones out of which 1,31,45,000 tones are found in Ukhrul and 1,58,000 tones in Chandel district. Reserves of Nickel, copper, Sulphides, Serpentinites, Malachite, Azurite and Magnetite are also discovered. Hydro-carbon reserves of more than 40 oil and gas fields are found in the Western part of Manipur especially Tamenglong district, Imphal West and Churachandpur districts and Kaolin (China Clay) are also widely found in Manipur as per the report of Geological survey of India (GSI).

Mining in Manipur: History of mining in Manipur can be traced back to the early part of 1960's. As per the report of Directorate of Industries Govt, of Manipur 2013, no minerals have been extracted in Manipur except some minor minerals. According to finding reports from case studies, extraction of Cement and chromite are the major mining activities carried out in some hill districts so far.

Both public and private corporate bodies are involved in the mining processes in Manipur. GSI, Orissa Industries Limited, Satyam Company, Facor Alloys, Jubilant Energy, Asian Oilfield, Oil India Limited etc. are the major companies that engaged in exploration and testing of minerals in Manipur.

Ukhrul district has witnessed increased effort to mine minerals. As per information obtained, surface chromite located at Phangrei and 153 truck-loads of Shingcha were taken away by Orissa Industries Company in 1980's and early 1990's. First batch of extraction of limestone was done at Hungdung village. Testing and drilling of limestone were successively carried out at Mailiang and Phungyar villages in 1980's.

It was also reported that FACOR Alloys is conducting chromite test at Lunghar village in the recent time. Second phase of limestone mining is underway at Hundung. There have been reports that Directorate of Industries, GOM has inked several contracts with some Mining companies to extract minerals at Kwatha in Tengnaupal district.

Policy challenges on minerals extraction in India: It is worth understanding about the legal framework that binds the policies of minerals mining in India. She has her own laws regarding management of mining sector even though she is not a signatory in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

The policy level guidelines for Mineral Sector are given by the National Mineral Policy of2008. Mining operations are regulated under the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulations (MMDR) Act of 1957.

Several amendments have been made. Each of (hem cordoned the mandatory Free and Prior informed Consent (FPIC) of the indigenous liand and resource owners and Forest & Environment Clearances coupled with detail impacts assessment which are mandatory as the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Forest Protection Act, 1986 and Forest Right Act, 2006 required. This Act bears the same principle of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 that undermines the rights of the tribal customary land and resource ownership.

Contestation between Legal judgment & Mining laws:

Section 24A (2) of the MMDRA, 1957, stipulated the tribal or indigenous peoples as the occupiers of surface of the land in the context of social, cultural, religious, economic, tradition and usufructs of tribal forested land. The constitution of India under SI. No. 54 of the Central list in the Vllth Scheduled, circumscribes the states on legislation but will be bound by the Central legislation. Overall power of controlling and decision making for major minerals are vested with the Central govt. Rules 15 of the MMDR Act, 1957 provides Power to the state Govt, to make rules in respect of minor mineral only.

Whereas, in recent development, the Supreme Court (SC) of India, in its Order dated 16th July 2013 has stated that, "Ownership of minerals should be vested with the owner of the land and not with state govt." Moreover, as per provision of V & Vlth Scheduled of the Indian constitution, Autonomous District Council (ADC) has the absolute right to decide in this regard.

It is worth mentioning the SC judgment on Samatha Bauxite Mining case, 1997, which clearly recognized the rights of the tribal on land stating non-transferable to non-tribal and so cannot be leased or handed over for mining. In another relevant case, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) halted the Odisha Bauxite Mining project based on forest rights of the Scheduled Tribe & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers in the line of socio-cultural and religious perspective. In spite of the ruling of the SC 2013, the MMDRA 2015 amendment Bill was passed. Almost all the points of amendment made, enhanced the controlling attorney of the Central Govt, on mining.

On the other vein, extraction of petroleum and oil are regulated by the Oilfields Regulatory and Development Act, 1948, Oil Industry Development Act, 1974, Petroleum Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of right of User in land) Act, 1962 and Petroleum and Natural Gas Rule, 1959 that gave exclusive power of ownership of oil and gas resources to Central Govt. Accordingly, the Central Govt, has to permit the Oil onshore mining license and deciding upon royalty and surface reint rates to the state Govt.

Here, the required Environment Clearance process sidelined 'the impacts on culture, health and economy where actually the FCA, 1980 required it. The provisions under FRA, 2006 will be determined by Forest Department and Union Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) that completely deprived the traditional forest rights of the indigenous people.

Public responses to Mining in Manipur: There have been instances of public opposition to the mineral mining works in Manipur. There were times when local people resistance and opposition from the apex students and civil societies' organizations like Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) regarding chromite test using drilling machine at Lunghar village in Ukhrul district this year.

So far, the villagers of Lunghar neither plan nor willing to allow the companies extract chromite from the village except NOC given to FACOR Alloys for testing minerals. It is rightful the community people reacts to mining projects as the original Mining policies and subsequent amendments of the MMDRA, 1957 only aimed to promote Corporates and Central Govt, power to expropriate mineral resources whereas, they appeared to be severe threats to the rights of the traditional land and resource owners.

The first incidents of oil exploration were done in 2012 in Churachandpur and Tamenglong district. Oil drilling in Tamenglong, Jiri and Imphal West by the Indian Oil Limited and Asian Oilfield in the recent months were halted by the indigenous communities. Series of public protest movement have been carried out against oil exploration in Manipur especially opposed the aggressive actions of the Oil companies that undermined the rights of the indigenous land and resource owners.

It is worth mentioning the indigenous peoples of Meghalaya led by Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, opposed the exploration and mining of Uranium in Meghalaya due to lack of FPIC, accountability and detail impacts assessments.

Conclusion: People of Manipur are proud of being the owner of rich reserves of mineral resources even though it is a small state situated in the North-Eastern comer of India. And it is true to assert the land and resources belong to indigenous community people. Our access to development especially extraction of minerals should be based on our aspiration, our will and therefore, it is the indigenous peoples right to take our own spontaneous self-determined and independent decision to explore, exploit and manage them for our benefit in a sustainable manner, that serves the interest and rights of communities without inflicting massive environment and social impacts.

Thus, it is envisaged that empowering the corporate for free hand extraction of mineral resources under its aggressive laws and policies will only make us a sacrificial lamb at the end.

The ensuing plan of extracting mineral resources of Directorate of Industries, Govt, of Manipur in collaboration with the corporate or companies, should recognize and implement FPIC of the concerned land owners, transparency and accountability, take up necessary steps to safeguard the rights of the indigenous communities over their land and resources and carry out detail impacts assessment. The full-fledged implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 would be a fundamental step to promote sustainable use of our land and resources, based on human rights and promotion of environment integrity.


* Jajo Themson wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at thmsontezonge(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 30, 2017.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Last Day : Sangai Festival 2019 #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Mavopam, Daikho, Rangnamei: eMing
  • World Tourism Day 2020
  • Belated Happy Birthday
  • In Unison with Divinity :: Poem
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #3
  • We do not stop playing because we grow old
  • Naga Talent Scouting Contest
  • 'Nagaland financial published is deceptive'
  • Politics of drop and induct Ministers
  • Playing a risky game
  • Swearing in @ Rajbhavan [24 Sep] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya - Parliament to pass Climate Law
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #2
  • Petition to PM by farmers of Ningombam
  • Low ease of doing business in Manipur
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • My idea of justice
  • Offensive against party hopping
  • Politics is more than a game of numbers
  • RK Bikramjit (Flutist & Composer) : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #4: Gallery
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #1
  • Nurturing young minds amidst lockdown
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • A hot test in a Darjeeling lodge
  • Number games before reshuffle
  • Preserving biodiversity amidst uncertainty
  • Barak: Our economic & ecological security
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loan Distribution- Street Vendors : Gallery
  • Imposing fresh curbs, need of the hour
  • Youthful Years :: Poem
  • International Day of Peace 2020
  • 3rd Poshan Maah: Drive against malnutrition
  • New advisory for COVID-19 positive patients
  • Peace: an elusive concept
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Irabot Day & practice of volunteerism
  • Morung Dialogue: To Freedom: A Human Story
  • Mushroom Growth of Social media Influencer
  • Observance of Kuki Black Day Sahnit Ni 2020
  • Nagaland Lokayukta investigation into Dy CM
  • Spirit of Art 164-1 (A)
  • Significance of September 19
  • Nongin, the State bird of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Financial Assistance for Journalist Phase-1
  • National Education Policy - Review #5
  • Condemn Moreh Police on Child Rapist case
  • Music video chronicling true naga spirit
  • What is trademark ?
  • Below par recovery rate
  • World Bamboo Day 2020 : A Report
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukning Pothasang #LetsTalkAboutDementia
  • 7th Khangminashi Lecture: Nanotechnology
  • Cancellation- Hyderabad Univ entrance exam
  • Condemnation on rape of 3-1/2 year girl
  • Calling social entrepreneurs from NE for UNDP
  • The Bright Lights :: Poem
  • Ensure health care service during COVID
  • Shirui Village, Shirui Hill, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Life moves on
  • JRF (on Chakhao) @ICAR, NEH Meghalaya
  • Fruit face packs
  • BA/BSc Exam at Lilong Haoreibi College
  • Fingering of Ladakh
  • Shadow of Greater Lim or Nagalim
  • Calls for change in election campaign
  • Tongjei Maril 1942: Bridle Path to Motor Road
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Khutheibam Abdur Rahman- Poet & Activist
  • Manipur StartUp Conclave 2020 : Gallery
  • Karmayogi Mission for reforms in civil services
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • The thirst for reopening schools
  • Vale of Tears: Untold stories of violence : Rvw
  • Career option in Ethical Hacking
  • Monkey justice
  • Tribal Ministry for seamless implementation
  • Disturbing daily spike & total figure
  • Rani Phi design on 'Doctor in 2020' :: Gallery
  • Aquapreneurship & present Fishery status
  • Discussion: Crime Against Women in Manipur
  • World Ozone Day 2020
  • National Education Policy - Review #4
  • Sole meaning of life is to serve humanity
  • Covid-19 accentuates the job crisis
  • BJP versus Cong versus NPP
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Cultivating the common ground : FNR
  • Reimagining Immunity & Immune System
  • Happy Engineers' Day
  • My Teacher - I Salute Thee ! :: Poem
  • Today a reader, tomorrow a leader !
  • Discussion : Myanmar's 2020 Election
  • Daily spike of 90 thousand plus
  • Buning Meadow / Piulong Valley #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Discovery of a novel biopolymer
  • Mrs. Laldinpuii : Success Stories from NE
  • Remembering our heroic martyrs
  • Alternative to online teaching during COVID
  • Teenage skin care
  • Tree Planatation at Chandel
  • Final pact sans NSCN (IM)? Uneasy peace
  • The cry for Justice! Kuki Black Day
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Flood-like situation @Thangmeiband :: Gallery
  • Khumang : e-Conference on 'Science & Tech'
  • National Education Policy - Review #3
  • Demand for a DNA Testing Machine Lab
  • Lilong Haoreibi College resumed functioning
  • A song of appreciation :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & after: Need for change in plans
  • On the Flag that was hoisted at Kangla
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambulance to Chief Medical Officer : Gallery
  • Highway projects in Manipur & agriculture
  • Keeping an eye on 'Eye health'
  • Academic Year Online for Assam DB Univ
  • Need to go in for more after RAT
  • By-election; play a fair game
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA, Imphal :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Southeast Asia: Strategic for Competition
  • Memory of Pranab Babu
  • Gandhi, self-help, khadi & Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • The reality we live today :: Poem
  • NEET & JEE: Balance betn student & health
  • 21 years of reaching out to the readers
  • Non Positive
  • Agri Fair at CAU Iroisemba #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Suicide: Chasing death
  • Women rights-based access to contraceptives
  • Delimitation & limitation of valley minorities
  • Understanding CET
  • Himalaya Diwas at IBSD, Takyelpat
  • Noting post Covid complications
  • Rechecking hospital's modus operandi
  • Azad Hind: Its Forgotten Govt & the Army
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • MPSC 2016: Social media mob injustice
  • Manipur women weave success in pandemic
  • FEGOCTA to resume academic activities
  • Live one day at a time :: Poem
  • Should animal be given same right as human
  • Countdown to by polls
  • Tungjoi Glory Day (Senapati) #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Skill Development Prog by CM: Gallery
  • National Education Policy - Review #2
  • Hope : The reason we keep living !
  • International Literacy Day 2020
  • Beauty benefits of rice water
  • Targeting young girls : Minds of retards
  • Should trading Frog amount to smuggling
  • Rendezvous with RK Bikramjit (Flutist)
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Reminiscence of coming & journey : Book Rvw
  • And I sleep for the hunger of you : Poem
  • MPSC propose re-examination is not justified
  • Increasing local transmission
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #2
  • Revoke Agreement on 66 MW Loktak Project
  • My homage to Pranab Mukherjee
  • Eventide :: Poem
  • Protest against gangrape of a minor
  • Condemnation against the gang rape
  • Heat of the Internet
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loans to vendors [Aug 25] : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #3
  • National Education Policy - Review #1
  • Menstruation needs to be discussed openly
  • Serious internet jokes & reflections
  • Climbing number of cases, deaths
  • Akhunba Takhellei #2 : Film scene :: eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #1
  • Tribal Resource Conservation Ethics
  • Vilification of MCSCCE selected candidates
  • Grand Chef Manipur at Luwangshangbam
  • Monument of friendship :: Poem
  • How will the Naga CSOs respond ?
  • Irritating season
  • Yaoshang Halankar #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Need for Impact Assessment: Social media
  • Legal awareness on 'Right to Food' at Lamlai
  • First E/online Lok Adalat held
  • Teacher for JEE Main & tutorials
  • 'JLF has no concrete plan to the Naga issue'
  • Need to follow the basics of new normal
  • Why difficulties in containing COVID-19
  • Bijiyashanti reels yarn off lotus stalks
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Jump Rope Championship 2020
  • ICAMST-2020 at Dept of Maths, RGU
  • The obscurity of the pandemic
  • LDHCL signs Agreement with MSPDCL
  • Grand Chef Manipur Season 1
  • What is Patent ?
  • Party-hoppers' gift: By-poll amid COVID crisis
  • Virtual world: an epitome of new normal
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 August: Govt of Manipur
  • September Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Level I Trauma Centre @ RIMS : Gallery
  • Khumang 2020 : Science & Tech for Society
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #2
  • Webinar : Medical & its allied profession
  • eFDP on Unoganized Sector concluded
  • NSCN-IM : From spotlight to marginalised..
  • A fail mission to eradicate corruption
  • Landscape to Dzukou Valley #5 : Gallery
  • Interlude :: Poem
  • Diversion: The political masterpiece ?
  • Webinar on Re-Imagining Mahatma Gandhi
  • Digital Health ID
  • COVID-19 and need for evaluation
  • Greater autonomy: On the path to exclusivity
  • Keeping Up With the Kakching Trekkers
  • National Sports Day @ MU : Gallery
  • The X Schedule
  • Observance of National Sports Day
  • 'No connection with streaming Manipuri film'
  • Unsung Warriors :: Poem
  • Life skills for exciting career
  • Making a mockery of a real menace
  • Battle of Maram : 1944
  • CM foundation for 1000 projects : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #1
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Mani : Kalabhusan (Thang-Ta)
  • 13 August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • 16th Death anniv of Chittaranjan : Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day [14 Aug]: Gallery
  • Independence Day @MR Ground : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS