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STEPS TO STOP ILLEGAL SAND MINING IN RAJASTHAN

Government of Rajasthan has informed that Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 16.11.2017 has banned all the 82 mining lease/quarry holders in the State of Rajasthan from carrying out mining of sand and bajri unless a scientific replenishment study is completed and the matter is fully considered by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and an environmental clearance is granted or rejected. After getting fresh environmental clearances sand mining in three leases has been resumed in June 2021.

Sand is a minor mineral under Section 3(e) of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957. Section 15 of the MMDR Act, 1957, empowers the State Governments to make rules for regulating the grant of minor mineral concessions. Moreover, Section 23C of the MMDR Act 1957, empowers the State Governments to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals and for the purposes connected therewith. Thus, minor minerals are regulated at the level of State Government. As per the report of the Government of Rajasthan, State Government is taking all necessary steps to stop illegal sand mining and has constituted Special investigation team (SIT) in all districts under chairmanship of district collectors including representatives of police, mines, forest and transport department.

According to State of Rajasthan, after ban of sand mining by Hon’ble Supreme Court, the State Government has reported 36594 cases of illegal sand mining and transportation of sand, registered 3286 FIRs, seized 37435 vehicles/machinery and has recovered Rs 226.15 crore as penalty, till 30th June 2021.

As per State Government of Rajasthan the matter regarding river sand mining was last listed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 19/02/2020 during which the Hon’ble Apex Court has directed central empowered committee (CEC) to examine the issue of river sand mining in the State and to suggest the solution of the problem. The CEC has submitted the report to Hon’ble Apex Court on 23/12/2020. State Government has filed applications for early hearing during April, 2021. State Government has again requested on 12.07.2021 for early hearing of the matter and accordingly Hon’ble Court has directed to list the matter on 19/07/2021. However, the matter was not listed on the said date.

This information was given by Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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