Decks cleared for inter-state mining

SHIMLA: — The Centre has authorised individual states to operate in their own area after obtaining permission.

Norms eased

— The Centre has authorised individual states to operate in their own area after obtaining permission.

— Earlier, the NOC from both the neighbouring states was mandatory for seeking the nod from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.

— Henceforth, each of the state can undertake mining in its demarcated territory between the borders of the two states.

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 2

Seeking approval for undertaking mining activity along the interstate borders between two states has been made less cumbersome with the Centre authorising individual states to operate in their own area after obtaining permission.

Earlier, the non objection certificate (NOC) from both the neighbouring states was mandatory for seeking the nod from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. Henceforth, each of the state can undertake mining in its demarcated territory between the borders of the two states.

The move is likely to help the state government enhance its revenue from mining activity. Mining in the 10-km area in the borders was possible only with the mutual consent of the two states and in case the two states agree the approval from the Centre was also not required.

“The Centre has eased norms for undertaking interstate mining and now each state can seek nod without ensuring that the NOC from the other is there,” revealed Mukesh Agnihotri, Industry Minister. He said this will help Himachal undertake mining in its borders with Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana.

However, this relaxation will not apply to areas where there is border dispute between the two states with regard to their territory. There are some portions in Nurpur area of Kangra and Una district where the boundaries are not clearly demarcated and there is some dispute with Punjab. The mining wing of the Industry Department had earned a revenue of Rs 163 crore from mining activity last year.

In fact, the Industry Department has prepared a master plan of the Yamuna river basin so that sites can be auctioned in Sirmour district which shares a vast boundary with Uttarakhand. The Industry Department has already auctioned 20 sites in Una and Amb area so as to regulate riverbed mining and to tide over the shortage of building material being faced due to complete ban on mining in the state.

In yet another significant decision, all cases pertaining to grant of mining leases up to five hectares will now be approved by the district level committees rather than the request being sent to the state level committee which will help hasten all such cases in the future. “A notification will soon be issued by the by the Industry Department regarding grant of permission for all mining leases upto five hectares by the district level committee,” said Agnihotri.

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