Water-filled quarrying pits in MP turn death traps in disguise | Hindustan Times
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Water-filled quarrying pits in MP turn death traps in disguise

Quarrying pits left behind after mining operations, especially while extracting minor minerals like murram and stones, are turning into death traps for resident in MP.

bhopal Updated: Oct 04, 2016 10:36 IST
Seven children drowned while bathing in a water-filled stone quarry in Guna district recently.
Seven children drowned while bathing in a water-filled stone quarry in Guna district recently.(HT file)

Quarrying pits left behind after mining operations, especially while extracting minor minerals like murram and stones, are turning into death traps for resident in MP.

Recently, seven children, aged 10 to 14, drowned while bathing in a water-filled stone quarry in Guna district — not the first time such an incident had rocked Madhya Pradesh. But the state government seems to have learnt no lessons. Most of such pits are created whenever there is large scale mining or excavation for murram or stones in the outskirts of cities and towns to feed the construction activity within the urban areas

A day after the incident, it was National Green Tribunal (NGT) which expressed serious concern over the trend of deaths in such rainwater-filled mining pits and trenches and issued directions to the chief secretary to issue clear directions to the principal secretary (mines) and district collectors to immediately carry out inspection of all the existing mines in the state, stressing that conditions laid down in environmental clearances clearly say that the entire mining area should be fenced before starting the mining activity.

According to experts, the state government has not just failed to check violence by mining mafia, it failed to ensure implementation of the laid down norms for mining activity, especially in case of closure of the mining and stone quarrying pits after the mining activity is completed.

“When it comes to mining in the state, people are dying in two ways — in attacks by mining mafia and violations like these, which are becoming death traps for people. Unfortunately, people involved in mining have become so fearless that they don’t care about authorities or law-enforcing agencies anymore. As per norms, a mine has to be closed and refilled after the operations have been completed,” environmental activist Subash Pandey said.

“It is sad that it took authorities the lives seven innocent children to initiate action against the violator,” he said.

Guna collector Rajesh Jain said he has given directions that all mining areas in the district be fenced and display signs be set up in mining areas or pits which have been filled by the rain water. He said he has ordered that the demarcation of all mines be carried out in the district to check violations in mining activities.

“An FIR under IPC Section 304A (causing death by negligence) has also been lodged against the person who had been issued the lease for the stone quarrying in the area where the incident occurred,” Jain told HT, adding that a magisterial inquiry has also been ordered under the headship of sub divisional magistrate Dinesh Shukla, who will give his report within 15 to 20 days.

UNCHECKED MENACE

Sep 25, 2016: Seven children, aged 10 to 14, drown while bathing in a rain water-filled stone quarry in Guna district

July 29: A seven-year-old tribal girl drowns in a rainwater-filled stone quarry pit in Panna district

July 23: Three children drown in a rainwater-filled trench in Sagar district. Trench dug for construction of a road

May 9, 2015: In Satna district’s Bamhor village, 17-year-old drowns in a pit left by sand mining

August 16, 2014: Four children drown in a trench formed by illegal-mining near Bhadkiya village in Indore district.

RECENT ATTACKS BY MINING MAFIA IN MP

June 1, 2016: Sub-divisional magistrate of Raisen district DK Singh was gheroed by the mining mafia in Begumganj area of the district when he tried to stop illegal mining of murram soil in Begumganj

April 2: Mining mafia attacks a forest guard in the forests of Shivpuri district, as vengeance for taking action against them two years ago for illegal transportation of mined stone.

March 20: Sand mafia tries to mow down two forest officials in Tikamgarh, when they try to stop trolley carrying sand.

March 6: In Morena district, a 14 year boy is killed in a gun fire exchange between two warring groups over control of illegal sand mining business through Jaur-Khurd area after excavation from Chambal.

March 6: A forest guard is crushed to death in Gwalior while chasing illegal sand miners when a tractor-trolley loaded with the loot falls on him.

March 16: SDM Burhanpur KR Badole who tried to stop illegal sand mining in Tapti river, was attacked by sand mafia who according to him also tried to drown his boat.

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