'Mining Will Lead To Submergence Of Coastal Village Of Alappad', Says Petition In Kerala HC [Read Petition]

The High Court of Kerala today sought the response of Kerala Government and Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL) in a petition filed against mining activities in the coastal village of Alappad.

The petition filed K M Hussain, a resident of Alappad, states that large scale sand mining of by Indian Rare Earths Ltd(IREL) will lead to the submergence of the village due to sea erosion.

IREL, a public sector undertaking, is carrying out mining of mineral sand from the coastal shore for years. The petition alleges that rampant mining has caused the shrinkage of extent of Alappad panchayath from 89.5 sq.meters to 7.6 square meters. "The panchayath is acting like a buffer zone between the sea and the river. If all goes like this, in the very near future the panchayath will submerge with the sea and may lead to the world to see another natural calamity(sic)", says the petition.

The mining operations are allegedly carried out in violation of CRZ regulations, leading to sea erosion. The sea erosion has already reached very near to the house of petitioner. Several families have left the village due to threat of submergence and the remaining people are not able to carry out fishing, their traditional means of livelihood, states the petition.

The petition points out that the environment assessment committee of the legislative assembly headed by MLA Mullakara Ratnakaran had highlighted the dangers of excessive mining in the region, and had suggested measures to the mitigate damage. The recommendations of the report, which was submitted in the Assembly, have not been acted upon. There was a recommendation to constitute a committee consisting of government officials, local residents, environmentalists and experts to monitor the mining activities of the company. There was a suggestion to build a stone wall along the sea line to prevent seashore. The Committee also recommended the suspension of mining activities for six months.

The petition seeks a ban on mining activities until the implementation of these recommendations.

The matter has been posted on next Monday for the response of the respondents.

Read Petition

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