40 stone-mining production projects for road paving have been proposed to the respective departments of the Mon State government, according to the State Government Office.
The newly proposed quarry production companies are for 26 in Thaton Township, 5 in Kyaikmayaw Township, 4 in Paung Township, 4 in Thaton Township and 4 in Ye Township.
“These newly proposed quarry production projects are still under inspection. So far, none of them have been given approval yet. The general administration department is undertaking the inspection process,” said Dr. Min Kyi Win, the minister of Mon State’s Natural Resource and Environment Conservation Ministry.
Dr. Min Kyi Win explained that the quarry production companies applied for the permission required to the respective township’s general administration departments. After that, the companies must apply to the district or township general administration departments in a step by step process. The applications will be checked by the Mon State government committee designated for project negotiating and will only be accepted if the detailed information is completed.
“Those 40 individual companies have not come to our department yet. If the projects are in the Forest Reserve, will we then inspect and if we are able to grant permissions, we will,” said U Myint Aung, assistant director of district-level of Mon State Forestry Department.
U Myint Aung continued that of the 88 licensed quarry companies for road paving in Mon State, 22 companies are within the forestry boundaries.
Of the 88 quarry companies that have already received licenses, 44 are in Kyaikhto Township, 22 are in Paung Township, 13 are in Ye Township, 5 are in Thaton Township and 4 are in Kyaikmayaw Township, according to the answer by the Deputy Minister of the Home Affair Ministry on September 23, at Amyotha Hluttaw meeting.
“In Mon State, there are licensed mining companies, while there are also lots of companies that are not licensed. Although some mining companies have been given permission from the forestry department, there are still a lot of companies that aren’t given any permission from the MIC [Myanmar Investment Commission]. Also, some companies’ mining practices don’t follow the regulations,” said U Soe Thiha, Amyotha Hluttaw representative of No. 10 Constituency on Day 37 of Amyotha Hluttaw 2nd Regular Session.
U Soe Thiha added that the locals in Oukthatar Village, Paung Township, Mon State, are very concerned with the quarry forged by the Long Life Aggregate Mining Company because the company’s quarry has affected the underground water source, leading to drought in wells and lakes in the nearby villages. Additionally, the fracturing of the rock on the mountain can break and fall down on villagers living under the mountain.
In June, approximately 500 residents marched from Oukthatar Village to Long Life Aggregate Mining Company’s quarry site, on Kalama Mountain, Oukthatar, Paung Township, protesting against the company and demanding its closure.