Principal Secretary Mining Department discusses various issues of mining
JAMMU, MARCH 30: Principal Secretary Mining Department, Ashok Kumar Parmar today chaired a meeting to discuss various issues of the Department.
The meeting was attended by the Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, Director Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing J&K, Director Geology and Mining, Director Finance, Mining Department, Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Ltd. Corporation.
At the outset, Director Geology and Mining, J&K briefed the Principal Secretary about the procedure adopted by the Department of Geology and Mining in e-auction of Minor Mineral Blocks and grant of Mining Leases.
Director informed the Principal Secretary Mining that as on date, out of 365 e-auctioned Minor Mineral Blocks, Environmental Clearances (ECs) has been issued in favour of 175 blocks, Environmental Clearances (ECs) of 20 cases has been approved and 19 cases are under consideration (i.e listed for approval) before State Environment Impact Assessment Committee (SEIA).
The Director further apprised the Principal Secretary the Department has granted Mining Leases in favour of 167 Minor Mineral Blocks.
The Principal Secretary discussed important issues like issuance of Environmental Clearances (ECs) and Consent to Operate (CTO) for Operationalization of remaining Minor Mineral Blocks with the Commissioner Secretary Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment and Director, Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing, J&K and they impressed for expediting the pending cases of ECS before March 31st 2022.
A detailed and threadbare discussion was held with the Commissioner Secretary Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment, Director, Ecology, Environment & Remote Sensing, J&K and Director, Geology and Mining, J&K for extending validity of Letter of Intents (LOIs) already issued in favour of the Project Proponents beyond 31st March, 2022 to enable operationalization of maximum number of e-auction Minor Mineral Blocks within minimum possible time period.
Principal Secretary, Mining Department also discussed following projects which are under pipeline in the Department:-
a) Adoption of Vehicle Tracking System (VTS): The Principal Secretary was informed that the Department has invited Eol for empanelment of vendors for installation of Vehicle Tracking Devices with Load Sensors on the vehicles engaged in transportation of minor minerals.
The Department is in the process of finalization of empanelment of vendors and the matter has been taken up with the Finance and Transport Department for their comments.
- b) E-Market Place: To develop an e-Market place (on-line web portal) to sell minor minerals to the consumers at the rates notified by the Government in a particular District.
- c) Construction of Hi Tech Mineral Check Posts (MCPs): A uniform Detailed Project Report has been prepared by SIDCO for all 111 MCPs (50 in Jammu and 61 in Kashmir) @ Rs 9.77 lakh.
Out of which 22 Mineral Check Posts (11 each in Jammu/Kashmir Divisions) have been completed by J&K SIDCO and handed over to the Department and have been operationalized.
Re-identification of suitable land for construction of Mineral Check Posts is in progress and is being vigorously followed by the Department.
d)ENFORCEMENT: Director, Geology and Mining, J&K informed the Principal Secretary that the Government has constituted a Multi-Disciplinary District Level Task Force Cell under the 1569-GAD of 2018 dated October 22, 2018 to check and curb the illegal extraction of minor minerals. Construction of Hi-Tech Mineral Check Posts with CCTV cameras; conducting regular checks and seizures, during the year 2021-22 (upto ending November), the Department has seized 4267 no. of vehicles for illegal extraction and generated fine to the tune of Rs.1184.71 lakh from the violators.
In pursuance to NGT guidelines, the Department has already introduced Transport permits/challans printed with security features like unique barcode, fugitive ink background, invisible ink mark and watermark.
Recently, a provision has been made for having separate colour coding i.r.o Mining Lessees, Crusher Unit Holders and Principal Executing Agencies of various projects of National importance for proper check on transportation of minor minerals in order to identify the violators easily.
Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary Mining Department also discussed the detailed exploration/ prospecting of Sapphire mines in Paddar area of District Kishtwar of J&K UT with MD, JKML regarding the report submitted by Geological Survey of India to Government of Jammu and Kashmir titled “Reconnaissance Survey of Gem-stones (Sapphire, Ruby etc) and REE at west of Machail area, Kishtwar District, J&K.”
In this regard, MD, JKML informed the Principal Secretary Mining that the Mining Department has already sent a proposal to the Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India with the following recommendations for their consideration:
It was decided to entrust the job of detailed geological investigations/prospecting of Paddar Sapphire mines as recommended in the GSI report in the coming session 2022-23 to Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. (MECL) or any other specialized Government agency.
Besides, the meeting also decided for the arrangement of required funds involved in such exploration/prospecting through National Mineral Exploration Principal Secretary, Mining Department issued several decisions which include:
To expedite the pending cases of Environmental Clearances (ECs) before March 31st 2022, and to grant Mining Leases in favour of remaining E-auctioned Minor Minerals Blocks in a time-bound manner whose ECS have been issued. Besides, it was also decided to identify and work out bottlenecks which are creating impediments and delaying the issuance of ECS and submission of a suitable proposal/recommendations in this regard.
The construction of remaining Hi-tech Mineral Check Posts in a time-bound manner, the Managing Director, JKML was asked to follow the proposal submitted to the Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India regarding detailed geological investigations/prospecting of Paddar Sapphire mines as recommended in the GSI report in the coming session 2022-23.