Committee appeals Govt to regulate illegal mining activities

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jul 13 : Safe Environment Campaign Committee  has appealed to the State Government to take up immediate necessary action to regulate and monitor all illegal mining activities, which are presently underway at different locations of the State.
A press release issued by SECC chairman said that prompt action is needed so that minor minerals found in the State are extracted in a scientific and sustainable manner under the permission of the High Court guidelines issued by the Ministry of Mines, GoI.
It alleged that, despite having huge natural resources in the State, the State Government has failed to mobilise its own resources that could contribute sizeable revenue to the State exchequer if minor minerals such as sand, stone, gravel and ordinary clay (which are used as essential raw materials in the construction of roads, buildings & bridges in the State).
It expressed disappointment over the State Government's failure in regulating the minor minerals for so many decades.
As per the information furnished by the department of Trade, Commerce and Industries, GoM (which is the nodal department for regulating mining activities of minor minerals in the State) there is no lease or licence for quarrying minor minerals in the State as of now, informed the committee.
As such, the entire quarrying activities had been going on for so long without any valid documents from the Department concerned, it noted.
"In this regard, Section 15(1) of the Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1957 empowers State Governments to make rules for awarding, regulating, monitoring and administering all minor minerals while Section 23C of the same Act confers the States to frame rules to prevent illegal  mining, transportation and storage of minerals", it maintained.
The committee further maintained that Manipur also has its own rule known as 'The Manipur Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2012'.
Ironically, the Trade, Commerce & Industries Department Manipur has failed to act as a responsive nodal agency and the prolonged inaction of the department has not only caused heavy casualties to the ecosystem but has also incurred huge  loss to the State exchequer, further alleged the committee. The committee further appealed to the State Government to initiate prompt measures on the matter.