Mining Department set for Pre-embedded clearance of mineral blocks for PRIs


Jammu: In a step towards Ease of Doing Business, the Department of Mining is for the first time implementing pre-embedded clearances for allotment of mining blocks in J&K.

This was informed in a meeting chaired by M.K. Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary Mining Department, an official statement here said.

Earlier, the clearances from various departments like Environment, Forests, Pollution Control Board, Fisheries, Irrigation and Flood Control, Revenue were the responsibility of the Project Proponents and often resulted in delays and entailed their approaching the concerned stake-holding departments, it added.

After the government granted approval for allotment of mining blocks to Panchayats, the Department carried out an extensive exercise to carry out surveys to identify feasible minor mineral blocks across J&K. So far, in 65 blocks, clearances of all the concerned departments have been obtained in advance.  Around 36 Letters of Intent have been issued by the department and others are in process in consultation and coordination with Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department.

The process of preparation of mining plans and securing environmental clearance has also begun. For effective handholding to the panchayats, the government has permitted the mining department to prepare mining plans and apply for environmental clearance on behalf of the panchayats. Majority of the blocks for PRIs shall be made operational by ending April, 2021.

The meeting was informed that for the first time, transparent e-auction was carried out comprehensively, which was the foremost requirement of the NGT and Supreme Court directions. Many leases have been made operational after obtaining environmental clearances and the process of others are put on a fast track by the government. He directed that an exercise be initiated to identify more minor mineral blocks especially in uncovered areas to provide the availability of material in such areas to expedite developmental works.

Dwivedi shared that the government has carved out mining as separate Department given the vast potential of mining in J&K. The UT has a good potential of mineral wealth like Limestone, Gypsum, Graphite, Quartzite, Magnesite, Lignite, Bauxite, Sapphire and many other minerals. He said the department has initiated action for exploration of potential minerals in collaboration with the concerned agencies.

The District Mineral Officers were directed to effectively check illegal mining and take measures for checking of rates of material with the support of the Deputy Commissioners. They were directed to effectively implement single window system put in place at district level for processing of NOCs in a time bound manner. District level single window committees headed by Deputy Commissioners shall issue necessary clearances on behalf of all concerned agencies within 30 days which may extend to 45 days only in exceptional circumstances.

In another meeting related to availability of material for major developmental projects including AIIMS, J&K Minerals Ltd and J&K Projects Construction Corporation were directed to take measures to augment availability of material for these prestigious projects.

The meeting was attended by Vikas Sharma, Director Geology and Mining, Vikram Gupta, MD JKML, Ashwani Khajuria, Joint Director Jammu, Imtiyaz khan, Joint Director Kashmir, Chief Drilling Engineer, Dy, Directors, Adil Farid, Dy Secretary, Chief Engineer, CPWD , District Mineral Officers, Senior officers of JKPCC and the Geology and Mining Department.