Cen­tre is­sues guide­lines on sand min­ing

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

THREE YEARS af­ter the Supreme Court or­dered the Union en­vi­ron­ment min­istry to for­mu­late guide­lines for sus­tain­able min­ing, the min­istry has re­leased guide­lines for min­ing of sand and other ag­gre­gates. The guide­lines place em­pha­sis on us­ing lat­est tech­nolo­gies like GPS and bar codes to map river­ine ar­eas and track the mined sand. The guide­lines also call for site-spe­cific sur­veys for all ex­ist­ing and pro­posed mine leases to cal­cu­late the ex­act amount of ex­tractable sand and other ag­gre­gates from an area. While the guide­lines up­hold the rights of com­mu­ni­ties over their re­sources, en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance will be manda­tory for all mines. The guide­lines also sug­gest in­creas­ing penalty against il­le­gal min­ers which may in­clude con­fis­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing il­le­gally-mined sand and seizure of all the equip­ments and ma­chiner­ies in­volved in min­ing in non-leased ar­eas. Th­ese guide­lines have to be rat­i­fied and im­ple­mented by the states.

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