Manipur High Court expresses displeasure over non-action against illegal stone crushing units
The Manipur High Court directed the chief inspector of factories and boilers cum director, Trade, Commerce and Industries to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing, on December 15.
Updated 3 Dec 2021, 7:03 am
The Manipur High Court comprising Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar and Justice Kh Nobin Singh on Wednesday expressed displeasure at the state chief inspector of Factories and Boilers cum director of Trade, Commerce and Industries for its failure to take action against illegal stone crushing units being run without licence at Moidangpok village, Imphal West.
One Thokchom Amumacha Meitei and five other people of Moidangpok Khullen Awang Leikai had filed a PIL before the High Court of Manipur against the operation of various stone crushing units in and around Moidangpok village allegedly “without obtaining valid Licenses under the Factories Act, 1948, and in clear violation of the Location of Factories Rules, 2013 and the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2014.”
As per the petition, during the last 10 years, several stone crushing units have been mushrooming in and around the village by converting the nearby agricultural lands into stone crushing factory sites illegally. The stone crushing units are causing noise and dust pollution in the vicinity by way of fugitive emissions which is adversely affecting the ambient air quality and human health, it stated.
Agricultural farming is the primary source of income for people living in Moidangpok village. But with the growing number of stone crushing units being set up, farmers in the affected areas could not carry out their agricultural activities unlike before, the petition mentioned. One of the private schools called ‘Sunshine Academy’ at Moidangpok village is likely to be closed down because of one stone crushing unit set up adjacent to it.
The petitioners have submitted various representations to the authorities concerned for taking appropriate action against the illegal stone crushing units. However, no action was taken to address the matter, the court stated.
The High Court of Manipur issued notice to the respondents of the case and directed them to file their response. Accordingly, the state of Manipur represented by the commissioner of Textile, Commerce and Industries and the chief inspector of factories and others; Boilers cum Director, Trade, Commerce and Industries filed their counter affidavit on November 27.
When the matter was heard on Wednesday, the High Court expressed displeasure at the authority concerned and held that “the affidavit filed by the chief inspector of factories leaves a lot to be desired. Having admitted that illegal stone crushing units are being run, he surprisingly stated that he was unable to do anything. 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.”
Further, the High Court directed the chief inspector of factories and boilers cum director, Trade, Commerce and Industries to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing i.e. on December 15, indicating in clear terms as to what action has been initiated by his office to curb the functioning of such illegal stone crushing units.
First published:1 Dec 2021, 2:47 pm
manipur high courtpilstone crushing unitsmoidangpok
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