"What black sand is for Kerala is like oil for Gulf countries, it's a natural resource which doesn't do any harm,” Industries Minister EP Jayarajan said.

External forces behind protest Kerala Min justifies Alappad sand mining in Assembly
news Controversy Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 15:24

Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan has reiterated his stand that black sand mining in Alappad doesn’t have any impact on the region. "What black sand is for Kerala is like oil for Gulf countries, it's a natural resource which doesn't do any harm. The protesters were happy after the meeting on January 17, but they continue the protest prompted by some external forces that have an agenda. The compromise moves with the government didn't make any headway because of the intervention of external forces. The mining has been going on for 50 years. The reason for the erosion of the seashore is not sand mining, but the reduction in the sand that flows from rivers to the sea," the minister told the Assembly on Tuesday.

He was responding to the adjournment motion on sand mining in the village in Kollam district over which local people have been protesting for long. The motion was moved by PT Thomas of the Opposition.

"Some even export black sand by using the local people, if this is stopped the protest will also end. The protest is against the state interests," Jayarajan reportedly said.

The minister added, "In various government reports also, it has been pointed out that the sand mining doesn't have any impact on the region." 

The Opposition’s demand was to discuss the unscientific mining and the serious environmental impact of it in the region by temporarily adjourning the House proceedings. Since the minister went on defending the government’s move, the Opposition staged a walkout.

In January, Malayalam actor Tovino Thomas and fans of Tamil actor Vijay lent their support to a popular hashtag campaign against beach sand mining in Kollam’s coastal villages.

“For the last few days, I have been seeing a widely shared hashtag campaign 'Save Alappad' on social media. Perhaps if I talk more about this issue, more people will be aware of this. I do not have the authority to take any action but I would like to bring this to the attention of those who have not heard about the Alappad anti-mining campaign and hopefully bring some change,” Tovino had said at a Kerala State Youth Commission meet in Kollam.

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