‘Government should provide legalised place for sand and stone quarry’
As the source of income and livelihood of people engaged in sand and stone mining has been banned by High Court of Manipur, it has also affected people who are involved in the transportation and distribution of sand and stones besides the labourers engaged in the field.
Speaking to media at Manipur Press Club today, president of Self Employed Labour of Sand and Stone Marketing Association, Ningthoujam Momon said that Manipur High Court ban on quarry of stone and sand mining in the river has made the life hard for the workers who are now left with no other source of income.
He also warned that people engaged in sand mining and stone quarry will be compelled to take up intense form of agitations if the government do not allocate a legalized place for them.
“Government should not snatch the only source of livelihood for people engaged in the sand mining and stone quarry,” said Momon and further demanded that the government should provide a legalized place or location for the quarry.
He also informed that the price of sand and stone from Manipur which are used in construction is lower in comparison with imported sands and stones and further questioned whether the said materials are to be imported from outside the state at higher price when construction and developmental works is going on throughout the year.
The ban will have a big impact on businessmen or workers who are attached to labour work transportation, owners of stones crusher and every individual involved since the production to distribution is a chain system involving different individuals.
People of Manipur should also question themselves and think about the situation if the ban is not revoked, said Momon and appealed all the labourers and workers in the state to unite and demand a legalised quarry.
It may be mentioned that the Manipur High Court on July 2 imposed a total ban on unauthorized stones quarrying, sand mining and river pollution in all rivers in the state, unauthorized quarrying and mining continues unabated in the state.
The ban order came in response of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Thoubal River Conservation Committee. The High Court had taken up a suo motto PIL case based on a representation to Court of rampant excavation in the river bed and washing of sand and stones in the river itself cause the river water to be polluted, making it unsafe for human consumption and other domestic purpose.
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