The state government does not have a policy on compensating the villages that suffer from the infrastructural and environmental damages caused by mining of minor minerals such as silica sand, fuller earth and stone.
This was revealed by CM Prithviraj Chavan in the legislative assembly. He said the state was still in the process of making the policy and it had asked for a legal opinion from the law and judiciary department.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil observed that the state had the habit of referring matters to law and judiciary when it wanted to delay decisions. “This will not do because people are suffering,” he said and advised the CM to act soon. The CM said he would start working on policy with a month after the budget session gets over.
Legislators from across party lines alleged that mining activity and carrying of material from mines to ports or other destinations have ruined roads in the respective areas.
They demanded that state should share 50% of revenue that it earned from mining companies with villagers.
Protest against illegal sand dredging
The Jai Bhavani Reti Utpadak Sahkari Sanghatana,Virar, which is an organisation of traditional sand lifters, will take out a protest march on Tuesday against sand dredging through mechanical methods. The protesters will submit a memorandum to the Vasai tehsildar. Mahesh Mangela of the Sanghatan told HT that though government had permitted to dredge sand from the Vaitarna creek using only traditional methods, unidentified people were using suction pumps to draw sand from the river bed. “Around 150 big trawlers are in the business and they are causing immense damage to the creek and livelihood of local people.” HTC