Imphal: The Eastern Himalayan Youth Coordinating Committee on Climate Change (EHYCCCC) has appealed the concern authorities to stop mining of Chromite, Limestone, Nickel, Copper, Malachite, Azurite and Magnetite and various platinum group of elements (PGE) which are deposited along the hill range of in Urkhul, Kamjong, Tengnoupal and Chandel districts and various parts of Manipur.
A press release signed by members of EHYCCCC stated that the committee is deeply concerned on the approach of the Government of Manipur, Government of India and Extractive Industries/ Companies to initiate the mining as it will destroy large scale forest covered areas and will contribute to climate change.
Various scientists have already warned that the Eastern Himalayan will be the most vulnerable due to the global climate crisis, therefore, it is high time for the Government of Manipur, India and the extractive industries to re-think, revisit and stop the mining across the hill ranges of Manipur, the release states.
The release also stated that the motive of the Government to Recover the lost economy of India due to the Covid-19 pandemic by sacrificing the Indigenous peoples land which are rich in natural resource by initiating the extraction of Natural Resources is a threat to right to lives of the indigenous peoples inhabited across the hill ranges of Manipur bordering to Myanmar as the indigenous peoples are dependent on the forest, river and mountains.
Extracting the natural resources deposited in the land of the indigenous people without the proper knowledge and concern of the people is considered as one of the strategic steps of Government of India, Manipur and other extractive MNC to suppress the rights of the indigenous people.
Further it will adversely impact the indigenous peoples inhabited in the border area of Myanmar due to dumping of toxic waste from the Mining sites to the small streams and rivers which flows down to Myanmar, the release states.
The release further stated that the initiative to initiate mining of the minerals by the Government of Manipur, India and extractive industries have failed to obtain Free Prior and Informed consent of the indigenous peoples and also have failed to follow and respect certain guidelines laid down under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Further it failed to conduct ground survey to assess the Human Rights Impact Assessment, Cumulative Impact Assessment, etc, the release states.
The release mentions that we already have learned from the incident of Baghjan, Assam on May 27, 2020 where Oil India Ltd. drilled crude oil and caught fire which displaced more than 1600 households, polluting the river, lake and a wildlife sanctuary. Also in Jaintia Hill of Meghalaya where 8 cement factories are located and also the coal mining which pollutes the rivers flowing down to Bangladesh due to dumping of toxic waste.
Thus EHYCCCC appeal the Government of Manipur, GOI and the Extractive Industries “To Stop immediately the Mining of Chromite and Limestone across the hill ranges of Ukhrul, Kamjong, Tengnoupal and Chandel, Districts of Manipur, To conduct Human Rights Impact Assessment and Cumulative Impact Assessment, To respect the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, To respect the rights of the Indigenous Peoples”.