THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Industries Minister E P Jayarajan on Wednesday said the government had no plans to stop mineral sand mining at Alappad. He urged the agitators to stop their protest and cooperate with the state’s development.
“Mineral sand at Alappad is the state’s wealth like petroleum is to the Gulf countries. The state can earn crores of rupees from that,” he told reporters here. He said the mineral sand mining at Alappad dates back to the rule of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. The IRE is ready to resolve the issues faced by the local population, he said.
Jayarajan said the workers were of the opinion that the mining should continue. Sea washing of sand has been stopped for the time being. It will be resumed on the basis of the recommendation of the expert committee.
The minister alleged that an official of the Secretariat sabotaged the government’s move to settle the issue amicably.“The agitators who attended the meeting at Secretariat had supported the government move. But later they changed their stand owing to the advice by that employee,” he said.
He said the agitators did not submit any complaint before the launch of the protest. A memorandum was submitted to the government only when they were called for conciliatory talks, he said.