Updated 3 Jun 2022, 3:45 pm
Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir of the High Court of Manipur have stated that they are yet to get a proper reply from the state on how it plans to check the operation of illegal stone crushing units, since the proceeding of Public Interest Litigation on the matter was started.
The case was being adjourned several times, stated the HC and decided to implead the chief secretary, government of Manipur as a respondent with hope of a better response.
The HC further directed government advocates to file a comprehensive affidavit through the newly implemented state chief secretary by the next date of hearing.
The affidavit shall address the existing legal regime for checking such illegal operations and the steps proposed to be taken by the authorities to give effect to the same, the HC added.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kumar and justice Lanusungkum Jamir on April 5 had found from the affidavit filed by the Forest department that illegal stone-crushing units are operating merrily in the state. However, the Forest department stated that it has no power to close down such units, and it is only exercising the power of seizing unauthorized forest produce and the stones.
In regard to the PIL hearing, the affidavit filed by the chief inspector of factories, government of Manipur leaves a lot to be desired, as per the court. Having admitted that illegal stone-crushing units are being run, the chief inspector of factories surprisingly states that he is unable to do anything, the court stated. The court observed that it is not open to a government functionary of his stature to plead helplessness after admitting that unlicensed factories are being run within his jurisdiction.
The PIL was filed by six representatives of Moidangpokpi village, stating that during the last 10 years, several Stone Crushing Units came up in and around the village by illegally converting the nearby agricultural lands into stone crushing factory sites.
Presently, there are seven stone crushing units operating in and around the Moidangpok village illegally without obtaining a licence under the Factories Act, 1948, the PIL stated. It stated that these stone crushing units have brought a host of noise and dust pollution problems in the vicinity by way of fugitive emissions which adversely affect the ambient air quality and human health.
First published:3 Jun 2022, 2:08 am
illegal stone crushing unitsMoidangpokpi villagestone crushers