Print Edition - 2014-08-15 | Nation
Ministries at odds over crusher regulations
Aug 14, 2014-
Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), and Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) are at loggerheads over the former’s decision to restrict crusher industries to operate their business.
While the MoPIT-- the country’s biggest consumer of natural resources like sand, gravel, boulders and aggregates in infrastructural developmental works-- is terming the restriction “impractical” and “anti-development’, the MoSTE has maintained that environmental degradation cannot be carried out in the name of development.
Krishna Chandra Paudel, secretary at the MoSTE, said development works carried out by destroying environment cannot be sustainable and it can impact the overall economic development of the country. “The decision was taken based on scientific observation. It was also not a sole decision of the ministry. The cabinet had approved the decision,” he said.
Tulasi Sitaula, secretary at the MoPIT, pointed out the severe impact on development activities due to shortage of construction materials because of the restriction on crusher industries. “We want easy access to construction materials for development works. Construction works should not be affected in the name of environmental conservation,” Sitaula argued.
On July 30, the Cabinet meeting had endorsed the MoSTE’s proposal to limit the activities of crusher industries, particularly along the rivers, highways, forests and national parks, human settlements, and schools.
The decision was made based on the recommendations of the standards on crusher industries prepared by the ministry.
Under the new regulation, crusher plants are allowed to operate 500 metres away from highways and rivers, and 2 km away from forests, national parks and human settlements. As a step to conserve forests, the government has also banned extraction and export of natural resources from the Chure region.
According to Paudel, in order to facilitate mining and quarrying of sand, boulders and stones for local consumption, the Cabinet meeting on July 30 decided to identify areas for crusher industries to operate their business. The locations will be identified by the monitoring committees of the concerned districts by mid-September.
There are over 800 crusher industries operating across the country with the investment of around Rs 80 billion.
Published: 15-08-2014 09:19