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HomeJ&KFormulate SHGs for those rendered jobless due to curbs on traditional mining:...

Formulate SHGs for those rendered jobless due to curbs on traditional mining: Govt

Amendments in Rules carried out last year to play key role Mohinder Verma

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JAMMU, Sept 28: The Geology and Mining Department has started an exercise to formulate Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to help those who have been rendered jobless due to curbs on traditional mining and amendments carried out last year in the Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 will facilitate in this regard.

Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in a recently held meeting Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta had a detailed discussion in this regard with the Administrative Secretary of the Mining Department and accordingly he directed the department to explore the possibility of formulating Self-Help Groups (SHGs)/Clusters to help those who have been rendered jobless due to curbs on traditional mining as per environmental regulations.

Acting swiftly on the directions of the Chief Secretary the Mining Department has started a detailed exercise in this regard by considering the amendments carried out in Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 vide notification dated November 15, 2022, sources said.

By way of this amendment the customary mining has been allowed by the Government subject to certain conditions in those areas where mining blocks have not been created”, they said, adding “on one side the move will help in generating employment opportunities and on the other side the step will help in making use of minor mineral which otherwise keep on accumulating in the absence of notification and allotment of blocks particularly in far-off areas”.

By way of this amendment the customary mining has been allowed by the Government subject to certain conditions in those areas where mining blocks have not been created”, they said, adding “on one side the move will help in generating employment opportunities and on the other side the step will help in making use of minor mineral which otherwise keep on accumulating in the absence of notification and allotment of blocks particularly in far-off areas”.

While the process of registration of Self-Help Groups has already been started in Kashmir valley, the same in respect of Jammu province will begin shortly, an officer of the Geology and Mining Department said on the condition of anonymity while confirming issuance of directions in this regard by the Chief Secretary.

As per amended Rule 56 of Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016, short term permits/disposal permits shall be granted for manual customary extraction of sand, silt, clay by local Hanjis, Khanias, Muleteers etc. Further, the manual customary extraction of sand, silt and clay by local Hanjis, Khanias, Muleteers etc shall be exempted from the requirement of Environment Clearances.Moreover, there shall be no requirement of Environment Clearances for extraction of ordinary clay or sand by manual mining, by earthen tile makers who prepare earthen tiles; removal of sand deposits on agricultural field after flood by farmers; customary extraction of sand and ordinary earth from sources situated in Gram Panchayat for personal use or community work in village; community works like, de-silting of village ponds or tanks, construction of village roads, ponds or bunds undertaken in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment and Guarantee Schemes, other Government sponsored schemes and community efforts.

More cases which shall not require Environment Clearances are extraction or sourcing or borrowing of ordinary earth for the linear projects such as roads, pipelines, etc ; dredging and de-silting of dams, reservoirs, weirs, barrages, river and canals for the purpose of their maintenance, upkeep and disaster management; digging of wells for irrigation or drinking water purpose; digging of foundation for buildings, not requiring prior environmental clearance; excavation of ordinary earth or clay for plugging of any breach caused in canal, nallah, drain, water body, etc., to deal with any disaster or flood like situation upon orders of the District Collector or District Magistrate or any other Competent Authority.

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