Kollam: The Kerala government is set to hold discussions with the protesters with respect to the Alappad mineral sand mining issue on Thursday. The government has decided to constitute an expert committee to study the impact of mining in Alappad. 

The decision comes after discussions with officials and public representatives. Following the first set of discussions, the government has decided to stop sea wash mining temporarily. Minister for Industries EP Jayarajan will hold discussions with the protesters in the Alappad mineral sand mining issue on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, on January 15, the Kerala high court had sent a notice to the state government and IREL in connection with mineral sand mining in Alappad. A native of Alappad had approached the court pointing out that sand mining at Alappad panchayat is illegal. The court has accepted the plea, which demanded the stoppage of mining activities in Alappad. 

Alappad, a coastal village of Kollam in Kerala has been partially eaten up by the ever-rising tides. For the past 50 years, sand mining has been rampant in Alappad village. The natives don't even have sufficient pure water to drink as the sea has started to engulf the village. 

According to reports, from 1965, the Indian Rare Earth Ltd (IREL) started mining in Alappad. According to the 1955 survey reports, the Alappad village was spread over 89.5 square km. But at present, it has reduced to 7.5 km. At present 65,000 people are living in Alappad. And 5,000 residents have already left the village. 

According to studies, the IREL is not following the environmental regulations of mining imposed by the state government. And the union ministry for the environment has not granted permission to carry out mining in Alappad too. 

From November 1, 2018, the natives have been protesting against mining. The action council even observed a hunger strike. The protest has crossed 77 days so far.