Chandigarh, March 16
In a complete departure from the previous policy of mining, the state government has come up with sites which will offer mining material exclusively to public.
As per the Punjab State Minor Mineral Policy, 2023, notified on Monday, the government has bifurcated mining sites into two classes — commercial mining sites (CMS) and public mining sites (PMS). While the CMS shall be grouped into distinct clusters, the PMS shall be standalone sites.
To start online portal
- The department will start an online sand portal for the sale of sand to consumers
- Sale of sand will be controlled by electronic documentation linked to a central documentation monitoring facility
- A mobile app will also be launched for booking orders of consumers
- Contractors/firms consuming more than 2,50,000 cubic feet sand, gravel, river bed material and earth will keep record
As per the notification, each public mining site will be operated by the Department of Mining and Geology or any agency or official nominated by the department. On these sites only manual excavation of sand will be permitted. The excavated sand will not be used in commercial projects.
Apart from that, consumers will be permitted to arrange a vehicle and/or labour for the public mining sites for excavation of sand and its transportation. At public mining sites, sand will be sold at the pit-head price plus GST. The cost of excavation, loading and transportation of sand will be borne by the consumer at his own level.
Use of any heavy machinery such as tipper or JCB is not allowed at any public mining site. If someone is found using heavy machinery he will tried for the offence of illegal mining.
The purchaser from public mines will responsible for not using the material in any commercial project. If someone is found using material taken from public mine for commercial project, he/she will be liable to pay an amount equal to three times the pit head price of the sand recoverable from the developer.
Interestingly, each commercial as well as public mine site will have an electronic weigh-bridge, integrated with a central server. Any vehicle found carrying sand without proper weighment slip will be seized under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, or the rules made there under.
As far as the CMS are concerned, these will be grouped into distinct clusters. The commercial sites will be allotted to concessionaires selected through an e-tendering process. Mining rights of sand and gravel will be allotted to the highest bidder. Apart from that the mining rights at commercial sites will be awarded for a period of three years. The contractor will also be responsible for ensuring that mining in the commercial site allotted to him is done strictly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Director and/or SEIAA and/or Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, from time to time.
Apart from that, all commercial vehicles used for the transportation of sand from commercial sites will be registered on the sand portal. These vehicles will have holograms and such other marking facilities as may be ordered by the government from time to time.
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