M.P. govt bans sand mining in Narmada

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on May 22, a blanket ban on sand mining in river Narmada – considered the lifeline of the central Indian state. The Madhya Pradesh government imposed a ban on sand mining on the Narmada riverbed and formed a committee of experts to suggest measures to prevent ecological damage to the river, considered as the lifeline of the state. The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the condition of rivers in the country. He was speaking at a programme last week on the conclusion of a campaign to conserve the Narmada river. he committee which will recommend the state government measures for scientific mining will be headed by MP’s minister for mineral resources, commerce and industry Rajendra Shukla. It will work along with experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Kharagpur) in developing a blueprint for scientific mining in river Narmada. Till the time the committee submits its report. Our government is committed to striking balance between mining and development, but will not allow compromising of river Narmada’s health and also biodiversity wealth inherent in the river due to mining. The committee will guide the government in suggesting how scientific sand mining in the river can be done without compromising the river’s flow and its biodiversity. The Narmada which originates from Amarkantak (Anuppur) travels over 1000 km in 16 districts of MP before entering Gujarat. The state government has accorded top priority to Narmada river conservation, accentuated by the five month long Narmada Seva Yatra (an ambitious project of the CM) which was organised between December 11, 2016 to May 15, 2017. The state government had earlier held the ‘Namami Devi Narmade Sewa Yatra’, a river conservation campaign, which started on December 11 last year, which concluded on May 15. During the yatra, the Chief Minister announced a complete ban on mining activities around Amarkantak, the place of origin of the Narmada river.

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