India: Villagers in Kerala demand complete halt to mining activities

Author: National Herald, India, Published on: 24 January 2019

"Kerala mining: Villagers of Alappad demand complete halt to mining activities", 21 January 2019

A coastal village Alappad has been at the centre of action in Kerala for the last few weeks. For now, the state government has agreed to stop for sea-washing [a method of mineral sand-mining] for a month until the proposed expert committee submitted its impact study report...

Alappad, a narrow land strip,...had faced the brunt of cyclonic storm Ockhi last year and the Tsunami in 2004. Seeking to save their remaining villages, the people of Alappad and nearby hamlets under the banner of the protest council have been on a relay hunger strike at Vellanathuruthu near Alappad for the last 78 days demanding a complete halt to the mining activities.

Agitators have claimed that hamlet after hamlet were "disappearing" from the map due to mining activities by the IRE, a central public sector undertaking, and state government-owned Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML)...Early last week, conciliatory talks to end the agitation by locals against mineral sand mining in coastal Alappad panchayat Kerala after the protesters refused to accept the state government's interim proposal of partial halt to the mining activities...

Speaking to reporters after the conciliatory talks, [the Industries Minister] said mining cannot be stopped as many people were employed with the companies. “We have decided to conduct a comprehensive study into the mineral sand-mining. Report will be submitted in a month. They (agitators) want us to stop the mining. It's not possible to stop mining entirely. Only sea washing will be stopped. Inland mining can continue,” he said...

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Related companies: Kerala Minerals & Metals (KMML)