The Manipur High Court has put a total ban on unauthorised stone quarry, sand mining in all rivers of the state in order to prevent river pollution. It further directed officials to take preventive measures to stop exploitation of the rivers.
The high court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Thoubal River Conservation Committee, a civic body, seeking a stop to the exploitation of the Thoubal river.
The committee, the petitioner, informed the court that the river water, which has been feeding a large number of villages were running muddy and turbid due to constant sand mining. It also claimed that the river water became unconsumable and made people prone to diseases. The petitioner alleged that despite repeated requests to the authority concerned seeking intervention into the matter, they turn a deaf ear.
Considering the gravity of the issue, the court expanded scope of the PIL covering all the rivers of the state as an interim measure and exempted license holders, firms possessing lease agreements from the purview of the ban. It also directed the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and all districts Forest Officers to take preventive measures to stop the exploitation of rivers.
The district authorities were also asked to furnish information on the number of cases that have been registered and legal actions taken against the offenders by the next date of hearing. The high court also appealed to the general public to step forward with any information regarding any violations of the court order.