Imphal, July 25,
Ching Tam Truck Drivers’ Association Manipur has called indefinite bandh along the Imphal Ukhrul road from July 30 against the High Court orders of banning sand and stone mining from River banks.
A sit in protest was staged today at Sabungkhok Khunjao Club at Imphal East district. The protest demanded lifting of the ban on sand and stone mining in view of the labourers living on hand to mouth.
Mentioned may be made that the High Court of Manipur has banned unauthorised stone quarrying, sand mining and other activities that cause pollution in the rivers of the State.
An order in this regard was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Kh Nobin of the High Court of Manipur on July 3, after hearing a Suo Moto PIL taken up by the court.
The order stated that no one can carry out any activities towards stone quarrying, sand mining and river pollution, except in case where a licence or lease is granted in accordance with law.
The order further directed deputy commissioners, SPs and Forest officers of all the districts of the State to take preventive measures in order to ensure that such unauthorised and unlawful activities do not take place in the rivers of the State.
In the event of any person found involved in such activities, proceedings as per law will be taken up, it added.
The court also appointed advocates A Mohendro and Harichhaya as amicus curiae to assist the court in implementing the order.
The High Court of Manipur took up the Suo Moto PIL for the conservation of the Thoubal river in February this year amid a clamour to save the Thoubal, an important river running in Thoubal district of the State, which has been badly polluted due to stone quarrying and sand mining in the upper stream of the river.
The Thoubal River Conservation Committee (TRCC) has been campaigning for the conservation of the river since the last around two years with the active support of the people of the district.
The use of excavators to dig up the soil underneath the river and wash it again at the same site has resulted in the river waters turning clayey since the past two years.
The TRCC, along with the public, have also initiated agitations and bandhs against the ‘sand mafia’.