Experts express concern over illegal mining


New Delhi : The enormous environmental damage caused by rampant mining activity in the country is a neglected issue as the state is concerned only with rapid industrialisation, experts said Friday.

“We do not talk about tremendous damage to environment, to people and their livelihood by the unchecked mining in this country. However, we are concerned with the rapid industrialisation coming to halt if mining is stopped”, said S.R. Hiremath, an anti-illegal mining activist.

Hiremath pointed out the need to check illegal mining, and stressed that dialogue is very important in resolving the issue.

“In a democratic set-up, dialogue is a very important tool for approaching a problem. We all need to become concerned over the issue of mining,” Hiremath said in his address to a gathering of experts at Anil Agarwal Dialogues on Green Clearances.

Organised by the Centre for Science and Environment, the two-day event is being attended by representatives from over 100 NGOs.

Arwat Challam, an activist from Meghalaya, lamented the authorities’ apathetic attitude towards unbridled illegal mining in his northeastern state.

“The local authorities are not concerned about the harmful effects of mining and politicians are hand in glove with the mining mafias,” said Challam from NGO Samrakshan Trust.

He expressed concern at the clearance of large chunks of forests for mining activities in Meghalaya.