Employees of the Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL) at a reunion meeting held in connection with Gandhi Jayanti have decided to carry out a protest march to the Secretariat on November 6 seeking a CBI inquiry into illegal mining of black sand worth over Rs 50 crore and permission to the CMRL to mine the mineral. Managing director S N Sashidharan Kartha delivered the keynote address.
He alleged that the government had not been taking into account the long-pending request of CMRL to permit legal mining of black sand.
The government is turning a blind eye to various sand mafias engaged in illegal mining of ilmenite and other valuable minerals from the shores of Kerala, he said.
He said the policy of importing raw materials like minerals and metals on a large scale has depleted the foreign reserves of the country and pushed down the value of rupee.
“It is very sad that even raw meterials like ilmenite and coal which are abundantly available in the country are being imported in the name of environmental problems or vested interests, he said.
P Rajeeve MP, who attended the function, too said the reason for the present depreciation of the rupee has been import of minerals on the feigned reason that legal mining in Kerala or elsewhere in the country cannot be permitted.
After crude oil and gold, minerals and metals take the third position in India’s import list.