By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: This is fourth in series after ‘Earning revenue crux of all Govt problems, ASI installation to enrich coffer’ (Jan 18), ‘VLT/AIS to check crimes/criminals (Jan 19) for women safety’ & ‘Encash opium to enrich poor Arunachal Coffer (Jan 23), published in this daily.
Why huge mineral resources which could earn huge revenue are allowed to be plundered when the GoAP has enacted laws?
Almost all rivers in Capital Complex would offer proof about illegal mining or lifting of sand and chips. Pachin River in Jully area is a glittering example as was witnessed by this editor. Trippers and tractors were lifting sand and chips on Saturday but neither there is any check gate nor anyone to check?
There are about 100, mostly Muslims from Laluk, who are living there with families and earn their livelihood by breaking stones to make them chips. About five of them take about five days to crush tractor-load chips to earn Rs 5,000.
Thak… thak sound that help earn livelihood
However, local resident Tarh Kama resenting against such mining said that such illegal activates along with torrential force of the river has posed serious threat to nearby district jail. Its base earth has been eroding fast and the boundary wall may collapse if preventive steps are not taken. He urged the GoAP to make existing Arunachal Pradesh District Mineral Foundation (Trust) Rules, 2018 (APDMF (T) more effective and go for a comprehensive mineral policy in state’s interest.
While reporting – Mafia looting mineral resources, who bothers? – in this daily’s 04.01.19 edition, I had highlighted with documentary proofs that “Mafias from neighbouring Assam have been plundering mineral resources at New Seren along the bank of Semen/Ego River under Lower Siang district in broad daylight causing loss of revenue reportedly running into crores.
“Fund poor Arunachal Pradesh is still dependant on central sops for its various developments. Thus, the authorities should have taken note when this daily had reported on 12.09.18 how mineral resources were being looted from New Seren, about 30-minute drive from Likabali”.
This recalled the record of former Likbali EAC Rajiv Takuk (present Siang DC) after observing such loot had got permission from then chief minister Gegong Apang to levy cess from mineral collectors. He had set up gate to collect cess which within a year had earned about Rs one crore to earn laurels from the CM. This had promoted then GoAP to enact law to officially collect cess to enrich state coffer and create Geology & Mining department with authority to grant of license or lease for exploitation of mining/mineral resources, collection of royalty & fee; approve for mining/survey of mining etc.
When present Chief Minister Pema Khandu has committed to convert state’s vast natural resources to encashable resources, it is time to take a call on this vital matter to enrich its coffer.