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Government of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests
21-January-2016 18:24 IST
‘Decentralization of Environmental Clearance for Sustainable sand Mining and Mining of Minor Minerals Introduced’: Javadekar

 

The Government has announced that the process of granting Environmental Clearance for sustainable sand mining and mining of minor minerals has been decentralized.   The Ministry has created District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) for proper monitoring of sand mining.  In consultation with the State governments, the Ministry has also prepared guidelines for sustainable sand mining. 

Addressing a press conference here today, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that the Ministry has taken several policy initiatives and enacted environmental and pollution control legislations to prevent indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources and to promote integration of environmental concerns in developmental projects. The Minister said that one such initiative is to formulate the policy for mining of minor minerals with special emphasis on sustainable sand mining.  He also said that information technology and information technology-enabled services will be used to track mined out minerals. The movement of mined out material and sand will be controlled through Transit Permit. The security feature of Transit Permit include, printing on IBA approved MICR paper, Unique Barcode, Unique QR code, Fugitive Ink Background, Invisible Ink Mark, Void Pantograph and Watermark.  Information technology tools such as bar coding and SMS will be used to monitor the mined out material from source to destination. 

 Shri Javadekar also added that amendments in Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006, have been notified in the Gazette of India, vide SO No. 141 (E) on 15.01.2016.  The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had published a Draft Notification vide  SO no. 2588 (E) on September 22, 2015 on Environmental Clearance for mining of minor minerals, including sand mining, inviting comments from the public. 

The Notifications inter-alia brought out the following:-

1.                        For the first time, Environmental Clearance power of the Ministry is being delegated at District level Committee headed by District Magistrate or District Collector for mining lease area upto 5ha for individual lease and 25ha in cluster.

2.                        For the first time the procedure for handling cases of cluster defined and also for one cluster one EIA/EMP and one public hearing to be conducted. 

3.                        Four-member District Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) is responsible for grant of environmental clearance for Category ‘B2’ Projects for mining of minor minerals, for all the districts in the country. The Chairperson of DEIAA will be District Magistrate or District Collector and the Member Secretary will be Sub-Divisional Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Officer. The other two members are DFO and Expert to be nominated by Divisional Commissioner.

4.                        For the purposes of assisting the Authority for the districts, the Ministry has also constituted an eleven Member District Level Expert Appraisal Committee (DEAC) for all the districts of the country. The Chairperson of the DEAC will be Executive Engineer, Irrigation Department and Member Secretary will be Assistant Director, or Deputy Director or District Mines Officer or Geologist in the district. The other members will be from Sub-Divisional Officer (Forest); representative of remote sensing department or geology department or state ground water department; occupational health expert or medical officer; engineer from Zila Parishad; State Pollution Control Board or Committee; senior most Assistant Engineer, Public Works Department; and three Experts to be nominated by the Divisional Commissioner.

5.                        Preparation of District Survey Report for sand and river bed mining and mining of other minor minerals are envisaged.

6.                        Simple Application Form ‘1M’ envisaged for mining of minor minerals under category ‘B2’ less than 5ha introduced.

7.                        Simplification and decentralization of EC process has been introduced. Now small project of mining of minor minerals to be dealt at DEIAA/DEAC & SEIAA/SEAC level and larger project at the level of EAC/MoEFCC. The gist of categorization is as follows:-

 

A.    EC proposal of sand mining and other minor mineral mining on the basis of individual mine lease

 

Area of Lease

(Hectare)

Category of

Project

Authority to appraise/ grant EC

Authority to monitor EC compliance

0 – 5ha

‘B2’

DEAC/

DEIAA

DEIAA

SEIAA

SPCB

CPCB

MoEFCC

Agency nominated by MoEFCC

> 5 ha and < 25 ha

‘B2’

SEAC /

SEIAA

≥ 25ha  and < 50ha

‘B1’

SEAC/

SEIAA

≥ 50 ha

‘A’

EAC/

MoEFCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.     EC proposal of sand mining and other minor mineral mining in cluster situation:

 

 

Area of Lease

(Hectare)

Category of

Project

Authority to appraise/ grant EC

Authority to monitor EC compliance

Cluster area of mine leases up to 5 ha

‘B2’

DEAC/ DEIAA

DEIAA

SEIAA

SPCB

CPCB

MoEFCC

Agency nominated by MoEFCC

Cluster area of Mine leases > 5 ha and < 25 ha with no individual lease > 5 ha

‘B2’

DEAC/ DEIAA

Cluster of mine leases of area ≥ 25 hectares with individual lease size < 50ha

‘B1’

SEAC/ SEIAA

Cluster of any size with any of the individual lease ≥ 50ha

‘A’

EAC/ MoEFCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certain activities have been exempted from Environment Clearance.  These include –

Ø Extraction of ordinary clay or sand, manually, by the Kumhars (Potter) to prepare earthen pots, lamp, toys, etc. as per their customs.

Ø Extraction of ordinary clay or sand, manually, by earthen tile makers who prepare earthen tiles.

Ø Removal of sand deposits on agricultural field after flood by farmers.

Ø Customary extraction of sand and ordinary earth from sources situated in Gram Panchayat for personal use or community work in village.

Ø Community works like de-silting of village ponds or tanks, construction of village roads, ponds, ‘bunds’ undertaken in Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment and Guarantee Schemes, other government sponsored schemes, and community efforts.

Ø Dredging and de-silting of dams, reservoirs, weirs, barrages, river, and canals for the purpose of their maintenance, upkeep and disaster management.

Ø Digging of well for irrigation or drinking water; and digging of foundation for buildings not requiring prior environmental clearance.

Ø Excavation of ordinary earth or clay for plugging of any breach caused in canal, ‘nala’, drain, water body,  etc., to deal with any disaster or flood like situation upon orders of District Collector, or District Magistrate.

Ø Activities declared by State Government under legislations or rules as non-mining activity with concurrence of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

 

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