THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the ‘Save Alappad, Stop Mining’ campaign gaining momentum, the state government has stepped in to address the concerns raised by the villagers. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a high-level meeting of senior officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The government has made clear that it’s open for talks in the issue, but maintained that stopping mining activities wouldn’t be feasible. Instead, it has been taking steps to ensure that Indian Rare Earths Ltd moves to the direction of deep sea mining, which would put an end to the people’s concerns and address the environmental issues.
Senior government officials led by the chief secretary and officials with public sector units Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IRE) and Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) will attend the meeting called by the chief minister.
Industries minister E P Jayarajan and minister from Kollam J Mercykutty Amma are also expected to attend the high-level meet. The government will look into various aspects of the issue and the demands raised by the villagers in Alappad.
Citing environmental concerns, the villagers have been demanding to put an end to mining activity in the region.
They point out that 60 years of mining has resulted in the current state where the Alappad Village, once spread over 89 sq km, has dwindled to just 7.6 sq km. With mining continues it could lead to total vanishing of the village, they fear.
However, the government maintains that permanently stopping mining would be out of the question.