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The extraction of sand from river beds with required environmental safeguards needs to be regulated to ensure its availability for the infrastructure development of Manipur.

Provisional quarry license permit can be obtained with due submission of the mining plan.

This remarked was made by the principal secretary P Vaiphei of Textiles, Commerce & Industry while speaking at the awareness programme on ‘Mining of Minor Minerals in Manipur’ organized by the Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industry.

The Department of Forest & Environment and Water Resources, Government of Manipur is associated with the programme held at District Industries Centre (DIC) complex, in Porompat of Imphal East District on Saturday.

Director C Arthur Worchuiyo of Trade, Commerce & Industries, Conservator of Forest L Joykumar Singh and Geologist W Inaocha Singh of Directorate of Trade, Commerce & Industries, spoke attended the awareness programme.

Principal secretary Vaiphei said the demand for sand which was classified as minor mineral has increased over the years and extraction of sand at unsustainable levels far exceeding the replenishment rates has lead to an increase in water pollution and impacted the biodiversity.

In respect of hill areas it is mandatory to obtain environmental clearance and forest clearance from the concerned authority.

Individuals interested in the extraction or quarrying operation of minerals can approach either Director (Trade, Commerce & Industries) or the general manager of DIC.

The general manager of DIC has been authorized by an order of the Government to help and assist the director in all respects.

All the deputy commissioners have been sensitized on the issue and have been instructed to sensitize the SDOs, SDCs and all the officers in the districts.

In the hills areas, permits are also necessary for stones which are not only extracted from the rivers, but also from the mountains or hills.

The National Green Tribunal has prohibited extraction of sand from Sekmai river in the year 2013, which is still in force.

In his speech, director C Arthur Worchuiyo of of Trade, Commerce & Industries stated that permit is mandatory even for extraction of minerals on patta land.

Interested individuals may submit the prescribed form along with the mining plan to the director.

Conservator of Forest, Joykumar Singh said that for forest clearance can be obtained online under Forest Conservation Act.

In a power point presentation on ‘The Manipur Minor Minerals Consensus Rules, 2012’ Geologist W Inaocha Singh of Trade, Commerce said that to extend the rules in the entire state of Manipur, a Gazette notification has already been published and came to effect from March 7, 2013.

Some of the conditions for quarry which include among others, granting permission for provisional quarrying lease if application is found genuine, payment of Rs 1,000 under rule 34 as preliminary expense.

Security deposit of Rs 3,000 under rule 35 and financial assurance @ Rs 15,000 per hectare or minimum Rs 50,000 if area is more than four hectares under rule no 40 is required.

Many interested individuals, associations and those associated with processing of minor minerals have attended the awareness programme.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com

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