Mining of minerals using machines banned: CM
Mining of minerals using machines banned: CM

Imphal (DIPR): On the seventh day of the 3rd Session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister and Leader of the House N. Biren Singh informed that the Cabinet has resolved to ban mining of minerals including sand in riverbeds with the help of machines in the State.

However, manual mining will be streamlined considering the livelihood of the manual labourers. The manual workers can continue their work with prior permissions from Commerce & Industries and Forest Departments, the Chief Minister stated in response to a Calling Attention put up by MLA Surjakumar Okram on the illegal mining leading to deterioration of Thoubal River during the question hour.

Leader of the House Biren stated that we, the human beings, are selfish and some of the people have no civic sense. He stated that 99 per cent of the people are not aware of setting up toilets properly. They built toilets near the running river irrespective of whether they are contaminating the water which is consumed by others, he added.

He informed the House that recently the government has carried out a mass drive of eviction of toilets and cleaning the river banks stretching from Kangpokpi to Imphal River. He also stated that Singda Dam is drying up because of the cutting down of trees on the hills around Singda, leading to scarcity of drinking water.

Biren further informed the House that the government has taken up steps from time to time by arresting the persons involved in illegal mining and quarrying especially at Thoubal River. For the survival strategy, the people are illegally mining sand and others, neglecting the consequences that affect the future generation, he added.

The Chief Minister stated that any activities that are disastrous to the environment will be seriously dealt with as per the law. He further informed the House that locations are being identified by the Industry Department and Forest Department. Proposals have been sent to the Centre for consent to preserve the areas, he added.

Replying to a query raised by MLA Surjakumar Okram, Minister of Relief and Disaster Management Awangbow Newmai stated that the government declared drought during kharif-2019 on August 31, 2019. Based on the field survey on various parameters, the State Government sought Rs. 151.04 crore as relief assistance from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). The Ministry sanctioned Rs. 26.53 crore in 2020 as assistance, he conveyed.

Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industries Nemcha Kipgen informed the August House that no stone crusher is permitted to function in paddy land. She stated that the permit/license for stone crushers is issued under ‘The Manipur Factories Rules, 2021’.

Forest, Environment & Climate Change Minister Th. Biswajit Singh informed the House that there is no forest village in the Nongmaiching Reserved Forest and that there is no Reserved Forest by the name of Leimaching Reserved Forest.

He stated that construction of religious and memorial structures in Reserved Forest area is not allowed without the prior forest clearance from the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 after promulgation of the Act from October 25, 1980. He further stated that the structures that are related to religion cannot be evicted considering the social sentiments of the people.

Replying to a query raised by MLA K. Ranjit Singh, Power Minister Th. Biswajit Singh informed the House that during peak hour 250 MW of power are needed in the State. The pre-construction work of Loktak Downstream amounting to Rs. 63.5389 crore has been completed but the work of Project Construction is yet to start.