With a view to check on illegal mining and bringing in transparency in the sector, the government on Thursday came out with a draft notification for a new sand and minor mineral mining policy.
“The draft notification has been put up on the government web-site for comments, which will be placed there for sixty days. From January 1, 2016, the new law and guidelines on sustainable sand and minor mineral mining will be in place,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told a press conference in New Delhi.
Besides bringing transparency in the sector, he said the new policy will check illegal mining and over extraction of minor minerals that include sand, mud, marble, granite and stone.
The policy, however, will allow the serious and the legitimate players to remain in business, he said.
According to the draft policy, decision on allowing or restricting the mining would be taken after a survey report which would be based on remote sensing technology to know the sand level in the river beds.
The minister said a big problem in the country was the illegal mining and ‘mafia raj’, especially in the sand mining sector.
“At places, there was so much illegal sand mining that many rivers had dried up in those areas while people and farmers were facing a lot of problems,” he said adding: “The new policy will check these problems. The draft notification of minor mineral sustainable mining policy has been published in the gazette.”
He said the policy would put an end to illegal mining, black marketing and help increase the state’s revenues.