Regulation Necessary for sustainable Sand Mining: P.Vaiphei

Imphal, 4,

An awareness programme on ‘Mining of Minor Minerals in Manipur’ was organised by the Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Govt. of Manipur in association with Department of Forest & Environment and Water Resources, Govt. of Manipur was held yesterday at DIC complex, Porompat, Imphal East.
Principal Secretary (Textiles, Commerce & Industry)  P. Vaiphei, Director of Trade, Commerce & Industries,  C. Arthur Worchuiyo, Conservator of Forest,  Joykumar Singh and Geologist, Directorate of Trade, Commerce & Industries, W. Inaocha Singh spoke during the awareness programme.
In his opening remarks, Principal Secretary (Textiles, Commerce & Industry)  P. Vaiphei stated minerals are classified into major mineral and minor mineral. Minor minerals mean ordinary sand, building stones, gravel, and ordinary clay among others. The demand for sand 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.
It has become necessary to regulate the extraction of sand from river beds with required environmental safeguards, to ensure its availability for the infrastructure development of the State. Provisional quarry license permit can be obtained with due submission of the mining plan. In respect of hill areas it is mandatory to obtain environmental clearance and forest clearance from the concerned authority. Permit is to be issued by the Director of Trade, Commerce & Industries. Individuals interested in the extraction or quarrying operation of minerals can approach either Director (Trade, Commerce & Industries) or the General Manager (GM),District Industries Centre (DIC).
The GM(DIC’s) have been authorized by an order of the Govt. to help and assist the Director in all respect. It has been reported that some of the Deputy Commissioners have taken proactive measures to collect the application forms for Mining permits/quarry permits and have already began distribution process. All the DC’s have been sensitized on the issue and have been instructed to sensitize the SDO’s, SDC’s and all the officers in the districts.  He also reiterated the major role played by Water Resources Department(WRD) as most sand extraction are carried out in rivers/riverbeds.
In the hills areas, permits are also necessary for stones which are not only extracted from the rivers, but also from the mountains/hills. For any further query, interested individuals may contact  W. Inaocha Singh, Geologist of the department on mobile no. 9862036742.  P. Vaiphei also stressed on the fact that the National Green Tribunal has prohibited extraction of Sand from Sekmai river in the year 2013, which is still in force.
Director of Trade, Commerce & Industries, C. Arthur Worchuiyo speaking during the awareness programme stated that permit is mandatory even for extraction of minerals on patta land. Interested individuals may submit the prescribe form along with the mining plan to the Director. The Directorate will examine the applications and forward the same to the State Level Committee for provisional mining or quarry lease which is to be signed both by govt. and applicants.
Conservator of Forest, Shri Joykumar Singh said that for forest clearance can be obtained online under Forest Conservation Act. During the awareness programme, Geologist of  Directorate of Trade, Commerce & Industries,  W. Inaocha Singh while present “The Manipur Minor Minerals Consensus Rules, 2012”  with power point presentation. He 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.
He explained their processes and procedures involved in obtaining quarrying licence. 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 4 hectares under  rule no 40. Other conditions are submission of mining plan, forest clearance (If area fall under forest land), environmental clearance (compulsory), Surface rent and Royalty. After fulfilling all these conditions, a quarry deed will be signed and obtain the minerals transit pass for allowing transportation and maintaining record for mining.
Many interested individuals, associations and those associated with processing of minor minerals have attended the awareness programme..

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