Illegal sand mining: Centre asks states to furnish details of action taken
The Centre has asked states to immediately furnish details of cases of illegal sand mining, including the action taken in the last three years to stop the menace.
New Delhi: The Centre has asked states to immediately furnish details of cases of illegal sand mining, including the action taken in the last three years to stop the menace.
"Although mining of sand comes within the purview of the state governments, it was felt necessary to discuss the problem with the state governments ... and find out ways and means to help the state governments to curb and eliminate illegal mining of sand, especially in view of the fact that there are serious environmental consequences," the Mines Ministry said in a communication to states.
Large scale alleged illegal mining of sand across the country came up for discussion at recent meetings of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Water Resources and Steel and Mines.
"Each state should provide details of the action taken on illegal mining of sand for the last three years ... and specifically on number of cases of illegal mining of sand detected, action taken, and the amount of penalty/fine collected," Mines Secretary Anup K Pujari, who recently a chaired a high-level meeting on the issue, said in the communication.
Besides, the Centre has also sought details of the latest policy formulated for sand mining from states and "details of all court cases pertaining to sand mining in which the state government is a party for preparing of database of cases on sand mining".
Further, the states will also furnish data on cost and royalty of sand.
Earlier, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh had admitted that there had been a rise in the number cases of illegal mining of minor minerals, especially sand, due to requirement of obtaining environment clearance (EC) as mandated in a recent the Supreme Court judgement.
The Mines Ministry in the communication to the states said: "Obtaining EC has proved to be difficult, with the various stages in obtaining it. The matter was discussed at length and it was felt necessary to approach the Supreme Court to seek a clarification as to whether the requirement of obtaining EC for minor minerals for areas less than 5 hectare is a permanent obligation or is only a transitory requirement till such time all the state governments frame rules."
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