Regional

Mnp HC bans quarrying, sand mining

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jul 3 | Publish Date: 7/3/2019 11:53:01 AM IST

The High Court of Manipur has imposed a total ban on unauthorised stone quarry, sand mining, river pollution etc. in all rivers in Manipur.

The order was passed by a division bench of chief justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and justice Kh Nobin of the High Court of Manipur on Tuesday.

The order stated that “no one shall carry out any such activities towards stone quarry, sand mining and river pollution etc. except in case where a license or lease is granted in accordance with law.” 

Deputy commissioners, the superintendents of police and district forest officers of all the districts should to take up preventive measures in order to ensure that such unauthorised and unlawful activities do not take place in the rivers of the state, the order added.

In the event of any person found to have indulged in such activities, they shall be proceeded as per law, it added.

The court also appointed advocates A Mohendro and Harichhaya as amicus curiae to assist the court considering the importance of the issue involved in stone quarry, sand mining and river pollution, etc.

The court passed the order after hearing a suo moto PIL taken up by the same court in response to a submission by Thoubal River Conservation Committee (TRCC), campaigning for the conservation of the river since around two years with active supports from the people of the district.

The TRCC has sought court’s intervention in checking stone quarry, sand mining and other activities that heavily polluted the Thoubal River, an important river running in Thoubal district.

However, considering the gravity of the problems being faced by the people, particularly residing near rivers of the state, the court expanded the scope of the PIL to all the rivers in the state. TRCC is a conglomerate of 35 clubs of villages along the Thoubal River and Meira Paibi organisations, contesting the unchecked sand mining and quarrying from the riverbed of Thoubal River to save the river.

The High Court of Manipur has taken up the suo moto PIL for the conservation of Thoubal River in February this year responding to the submission of the TRCC. The use of excavators to dug up the soil underneath the river and wash it again at the same site has resulted in the river waters turning clay-coloured from the past two years, the TRCC alleged. 

Following strong pressure from the TRCC and its supporters, the state forest department had also taken up various steps to check and stop illegal sand mining and stone quarrying from Thoubal River.

However, no fruitful results came up in the absent of strong commitment from the state government side, the TRCC had alleged in its submission to the court in February this year, praying court’s intervention in halting stone and sand mining activities from the river.

The committee (TRCC) further appealed for legal actions to be initiated against the authorities concerned who have repeatedly ignored demands and memorandums submitted by the public.

The order of the High Court of Manipur was passed on the same day on which people of Thoubal district under the aegis of the TRCC staged a protest in front of the court complex in Imphal to save Thoubal River and deliver swift justice to the people inhabiting along the stretch of Thoubal River. The protest was held prior to the third hearing of the suo moto PIL taken up by the High Court on February 8 based on a complaint by TRCC.

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