The mining department in Indore has ordered all mine owners in the district to fence off quarrying pits as a pre-emptive measure to prevent drowning.
It will assign district panchayat the responsibility to take over abandoned mines for fish rearing.
“There are around 70 mines in the district, where minor minerals such as stones and murram are mined and the owners have been asked to fence them within seven days or face action. The mine owners have been asked to put proper signage in the area,” district mining officer Pradeep Khanna said.
The mining department send notices to mine owner comes in the wake of a National Green Tribunal order in September where the NGT ordered that the mining area should be fenced to prevent people, mainly children from drowning. The NGT order came a day after seven children, aged between 10 and 14, drowned while bathing in a rainwater-filled stone quarry in Guna district on September 25.
The abandoned pits filled with water often turn into deadly traps. “We can hardly ask the previous mine owner to fence abandoned pits. So the department will hand over all the abandoned mines to district panchayat so that village panchayats can develop them for fish rearing. Not only it will generate income for the panchayat, but also ensure that the mine is fenced and maintained,” Khanna said.