Centre tells states to curb illegal mining

With an aim to curb illegal mining activities, the Centre has asked states to frame rules and constitute special squad immediately as per the provision of the Mines and Mineral Development Act to prevent such menace.

“State governments have been requested to frame Rules under Section 23C of the MMDR (Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 on illegal mining, storage and transportation of minerals,” a senior official from the Mines Ministry told Deccan Herald.

The states have also been asked to improve the functioning of their concerned departments in order to bring tangible results, the official added. Ministry officials also cited efforts made by the Rajasthan government where the state has constituted a force comprising 450 police personnel headed by an additional director general level official, meant exclusively for preventing illegal mining.

While emulating the Rajasthan model, the Centre also asked the states to constitute such squad.  

As per the Section 23(c) of the MMDR Act, the state governments are empowered to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals. The Act also allows to the state governments recover the price of mined out mineral and in case the mineral is disposed of, its royalty and rent or taxes, as may be payable for the mineral mined illegally from an area.

Meanwhile, as per the official, the Centre has also asked states for strict implementation of Rule 45 of Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR) besides other measures.

Rule 45 makes it mandatory for all mining lease holders, traders, exporters, stockists and end-users to report to Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and the state government on the transaction in minerals on a monthly and annual basis.

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