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Rivers should be utilized, not exploited

21 Jul 2017
Rivers should be utilized, not exploited

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the mining policy should be based on environment conservation, sustainable development and human approach. Inaugurating the national workshop organized at EPCO auditorium, CM Chouhan said that the state government is attempting to ensure easy availability of sand for development. Illegal activities should be stopped. Rivers should be utilized not exploited. There should be a human approach to mining. He said that the workshop has been organized for making of the mining policy based on these objectives. CM Chouhan gave phasewise details of the various forms of making of mining policy and outlined the issues to be discussed. The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the brainstorming at the workshop would give final shape to the mining policy.

Chief Minister Chouhan said on the occasion that the humans alone do not have the sole right over nature. All living beings, movable and immovable elements too have equal rights. Therefore a balanced behavior towards nature is necessary. In the absence of this, its adverse effects become apparent in the form of rise in temperature, lack of rains, irregular monsoon and natural calamities. Several animals have started becoming extinct on Earth. Several animals including Mahashir fish are on the verge of extinction; attempts to conserve which are being made. This is becoming a cause of concern worldwide. Citizens of the state have resolved to save the environment with the Narmada Seva Yatra and by planting 7 crore and 13 lakh saplings in 12 hours they have fulfilled their responsibility. CM Chouhan said that it has become essential for us to leave a healthy environment for our future generation in which there are equal opportunities of living for all.

CM Chouhan said that we should utilize natural resources only to the extent where nature can compensate for it. Balance between environment and development should be the basis of our policy. One-sided effort is not right. If sand mining from rivers is totally stopped, it can lead to erosion. The fertile soil on the sides of the rivers, start turning into sand. Similarly, easy availability of sand for development can put the very existence of the river at stake. The Chief Minister said that the policy should be balanced and practical. The mining policy should not create a competition for economic profits. Illegal activities should come to an end. Human intervention should be controlled to the minimum. Procedures should be transparent. Approach should be human. Sand should be made easily available to the general consumer. New employment opportunities should be generated.

The Chief Minister called upon the experts at the workshop to ponder on the integrated and human perspective of mining policy. There should be a scientific procedure of mining that not only generates employment opportunities but also conserves ecology. He expressed the hope that the workshop will help in forming the mining policy of the state besides guiding formation of mining policy of the country.

National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Shri Dilip Singh said that the workshop is a commendable initiative. A positive change will come in the different aspects related to mining work through the brainstorming at the workshop. The conclusion of the workshop will assist in sustainable policy formation. He called upon the participants to present their opinions, suggestions and doubts openly for effective river management, as they were subject experts and directly connected with ground reality. He said that just as mining work was must for development, leaving a healthy environment for our future generation is also must. There should be a balance between environment and development. Alternatives for sand should be explored for development. The machinery of affiliated departments for banning illegal mining should be strengthened. Monitoring process should be strong. Permission for mining should be given based on the availability of resources. Arrangements for providing environmental permission should be made only after proper spot survey. There should be clear guidelines on how, where and how much mining has to be done.

Mineral Resources Minister Shri Rajendra Shukla said that the workshop has been organized for the making of guiding principles to make the mining policy foolproof. It is an effort to make minerals available for development works. Mining should not adverse effects on the health of rivers and on the life of animals etc. He said that the availability of sand in the state is 7 crore cubic meters. The need is an estimated 3 crore cubic metre. Efforts are being made that the policy should be in accordance with sand harvesting. Mining should be done only from the sand that comes with the flow. Illegal mining should be totally banned. Marketing of sand should be arranged in such a manner that it is available for the general consumer at cheap rate.

Mineral Corporation Chairman Shri Shiv Choubey proposed the vote of thanks at the workshop while Shri Sudhir Kochar conducted the workshop. The workshop began with the guests being presented with Rudraksh ka Paudha and Shri Amritlal Vegad’s books Saundarya ki Nadi Narmada and Amritastha Narmada. During the inaugural session, Director Geology and Mining Shri Sushil Kumar of Telangana and Chhattisgarh’s Joint Director Geology and Mining Shri D. Mahesh Babu gave a power point presentation on State’s Mining Policy. It was told that three parallel technical sessions will be organized during the workshop in which experts will have a subject-wise brainstorming session. The fourth session will be the concluding session in which the recommendations of the workshop will be presented. The subject of the workshop was fixation of sand harvesting and its marketing policy besides adaptation of river ecology. The workshop was organized under the aegis of Directorate of Geology and Mining M.P and State Mineral Corporation Limited.

Chief Secretary Shri B.P Singh, Vice Chairman Mineral Corporation Shri Giriraj Kishore, well-known experts on subjects and organizations related to mining work, thinkers and researchers were present on the occasion