Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh informed the House that his cabinet has resolved to ban the 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, said the Leader of the House, while replying to the Calling Attention Motion put up by MLA, Surjakumar Okram on illegal mining leading to the deterioration of the Thoubal River.
On the 7th Day of the 3rd session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly held Tuesday, N. Biren stated that “we, human beings, are selfish, and some of the people have no civic sense.”
The Chief Minister cited instances of people building toilets near the running river without giving any thought that such an act will contaminate river water, which will be consumed by others living downstream.
He informed the House that the state government had recently conducted a mass eviction of toilets and cleaning of the river banks from Kangpokpi to the Imphal River. He also said that Singda Dam is drying up because of the cutting down of trees on the hills around Singda, leading to a scarcity of drinking water.
CM Biren also stated that the government has taken steps from time to time to arrest those involved in illegal mining and quarrying, particularly along the Thoubal River.
He said that any activities that are disastrous to the environment will be seriously dealt with as per the law.
In response to MLA Surjakumar Okram’s questions, Minister of Relief and Disaster Management Awangbow Newmai stated that the government declared drought during the kharif-2019 season on August 31, 2019. Based on the field survey on various parameters, the state government sought Rs. 151.04 crore as relief assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). The ministry sanctioned Rs. 26.53 crore in 2020 as assistance, he added.
Minister of Textiles, Commerce, and Industries, Nemcha Kipgen informed the August House that no stone crusher is permitted/licensed to function in paddy land. She added 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 reserve forest by the name of Leimaching Reserve Forest.
He added that the construction of religious and memorial structures in the Reserved Forest area is not allowed without prior forest clearance from the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. He further stated that the structures that are related to religion cannot be evicted considering the social sentiments of the people.
Responding to a query raised by MLA K. Ranjit Singh, Power Minister, Th. Biswajit Singh informed the House that during peak hours, 250 MW of power is 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.