---- Editorial ----
Solve the problems of DRDA staff
It is very unfortunate that when Arunachal Pradesh was celebrating the Statehood
Day, the DRDA employees had to launch its first phase of pen and tool down strike
in protest against non-fulfillment of its various demands by the state government.
They are demanding immediate absorption of DRDA staff in line departments and regular
disbursement of staff salary. The DRDA employees also said that they are not getting
salaries for many months. Meanwhile, it is also said that DRDA employees have
applied for mass casual leave for five days beginning from February 27. This will
be followed by second phase of agitation from March.
The DRDA employees who are instrumental in successful implementation of various rural
development programmes are facing numerous problems despite rendering their service
for last many years. Their service to the state could not help them secure their
future. Neither the Central Govt nor state Govt seems to be taking interest in the
plight of the DRDA employees and do not consider them as their regular employees.
In the given situation and in absence of any transparent policy, the future of
DRDA employees appear to be in dark as they are likely to retire without any benefit
like pension or gratuity.
There is no denying the fact that off and on the state Government comes out with
assurance to look into the grievances of the DRDA employees. The issues relating
to DRDA staff were also raised during Assembly session in 2013. But that is not enough.
Both Centre and State Govts must come together to solve the grievances of the DRDA
---- Readers Forum ----
Proportional representation of Dalits and women needed
It is wrong to assume that higher castes can solve Dalits' problems or men can solve
women's problems because no such problem can be solved without self-determination.
Indeed, self-determination is central to democracy. When we see some defects in a
democratic system, we sometimes say we need a dictator/ military ruler/ king to solve
our problems. However, a dictator can be a bad one. But more importantly, even a
good dictator cannot be good enough to satisfy the demand for self-determination
of the people. As a matter of fact, even a government for the people fails to get
the benchmark of a democratic government until and unless it also becomes a government
of the people and by the people.
This is the reason why humanity is still fighting for democracy or for more democracy
in spite of its defects. And this was the main idea behind our struggle for independence
against the British raj. It is true that some men fought for the cause of women and
are still fighting for the same. Also, some whites are championing the cause of black
rights, some higher castes for Dalits. But those good Samaritans cannot liberate
their counterparts so long as the self-determination of the latter is not guaranteed.
Swami Vivekananda had categorically explained why such power sharing was essential.
He said, ~ "Liberty is the first condition of growth. It is wrong, a thousand times
wrong, if any of you dares to say, “I will work out the salvation of this woman or
child." I am asked again and again, what I think of the widow problem and what I
think of the woman question. Let me answer once for all - am I a widow that you ask
me that nonsense? Am I a woman that you ask me that question again and again? Who
are you to solve women's problems? Are you the Lord God that you should rule over
every widow and every woman? Hands off! They will solve their own problems."
Indeed, Lincoln gave his life for the freedom of black people in the United States
of America. But it required blacks like Martin Luther King, Junior to distribute
the fruits of liberty among themselves. So, to solve the problems of Dalits and women,
first of all their proportional representation in government must be ensured.
Sujit De, Kolkata
Mining in Arunachal Pradesh
The action taken by West Kameng District Magistrate cum Deputy Commissioner in banning
all kinds of mining activities within the jurisdiction of Bhalukpong Sub-division
is a very applaud-able step.
With increase in construction activities, the quarrying or mining of minor minerals
like sand, shingles, gravel, boulders from riverbanks across the state has seen an
unprecedented rise and moreover to fulfill the ever-growing demand of minor minerals,
unrestricted and unregulated mining too has increased at an alarming rate.
Such un-regulated riverbed mining causes several altercations to the physical characteristics
of both river and riverbed. These can severely impact the ecological equilibrium
of river and damages the natural habitats of organism living on the riverbeds, plants,
riparian habitat and also affects the fish breeding and migration.
Just as large dams affect entire riverine ecosystems and the people who depend on
them, the un-regulated and large scale mining of minor minerals from riverbed and
riverbanks is not devoid of environment and social impacts.
The Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act'1957, (MMDR) empowers the state
Govt to make Rules in respect of Minor minerals and accordingly, the Department of
Geology and Mining, GOAP, has framed the Rules known as Arunachal Pradesh, Minor
Mineral Concession Rule '200 which lay down the rule for the grant of mineral Concessions
in respect of minerals classified as minor minerals under the MMDR Act’1957.
To implement this rule throughout the State, the Department of Geology & Mining has
deputed around 36(thirty six) numbers of mining officers at various district/Circle/Sub
divisions but it is seen that they only identified the minor mineral quarries, notify
it through concern DC,ADC, issue mining permits and collect royalties. However, before
notifying these riverbed quarries as Govt notified quarries, no detailed studies
have hitherto been made to unfold its effects on physical, biological and environment.
In Feb’2012, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India noted that approval under the 2006
Environment Impact Assessment (ElA), notification is needed for all sand and Gravel
collection activities, even if the area being mined is less than 5 (five) Hectares.
The landmark Judgment in this regard was given in the case of Deepak Kumar KS State
of Haryana and others etc.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) reiterated this stand of the Apex Court in National
Green Tribunal Bar Association Vs Ministry of Environment & Forest & others and ordered
a ban on sand excavation across the country without seeking prior approval for the
same from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and Ministry of Environment,
Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC). The Green Court also directed all concerned
department in States to ensure compliance of the orders.
In the light of above directives, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has framed model
guidelines for sustainable mining of minor minerals wherein the concept of mining
plan was made mandatory.
However, it is an utter surprise that the mining officers deputed to implement various
Acts, Rules of Central and State Govt, are all non- technical and in such circumstances,
it is difficult to understand how these officers’ fits in to doing mining activities
as per mining plan. Leaving aside monitoring of mining activities, they are not qualified
as per Mines Act and rules made there under to involve in any kind of mining activities.
Therefore, State Govt must give a serious thought and revamp the Dept. Geology &
Mining, otherwise these officers are not free from scrutiny of the Court of law.
Relentless exploitation of natural Resources in utter disregard of the laws of the
land is something to think about by all concern citizens for it is not too far that
this fragile ecosystem will be in shambles and will be destroyed to irreparable level
in coming days.
So, any party/parties involved in this kind of unscientific and indiscriminate mining
and against the prescribed Acts, rules and regulations must be tried strongly as
per various provisions of law.
And for the speedy trial of offence committed, State Govt have to constitute, by
notification, as many special Courts as may be necessary for such area or areas,
as per provisions given under 30B of MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2015 and apart from that
State Govt also have to take suitable steps to revamp and streamline the State Department
of Geology & Mining at par with other States of the Country.
J. Sumpa, President, Tirap Bar Association
Few advice for APPSC
Through the column of your esteemed daily, I would to thank our APPSC chairman and
his team for rolling out post for assistant professors in various colleges of the
state. I would like to give few suggestions regarding its recruitment.
Kindly avoid setting up 3 to 4 board members for interview; instead have one subject
expert along with two members of the commission.
I request the commission to bring subject experts from outside as in most cases,
we find subject experts being called from RGU and NERIST. This may bring certain
partiality as most of the candidates are from these two university and many are/have
been under the guidance of these subject experts.
We all have toiled day and night and have cleared JRF/NET/SLET to be eligible for
the post and conducting objective test would be unfair for us and undermining JRF/NET/SLET
I request the commission to genuinely take our grievances in positive manner and
we believe in your credibility and effort of free and fair recruitment.
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