Bill to regulate quarries introduced

Bill to regulate quarries introduced

The State government, which is trying to regulate stone crushing business through a new legislation, is all set to fix more responsibility on the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the deputy commissioners to discipline the industry, which has come to a standstill due to various reasons.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah introduced the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers (Amendment) Bill, 2013. It is yet to come up for consideration in the Assembly.

Once the new legislation comes into effect, the District Stone Crushers Licensing and Regulation Authority should come into existence in all districts. The deputy commissioner should be the chairman and superintendent of police the member ex-officio among a host of other officials.

The Authority should meet once a month and conduct joint inspection of stone crushing units. It should obtain a report from the officers concerned of mines and geology, revenue, forest departments and KSPCB to verify the conditions stipulated for declaring the safe zone for carrying out crushing.

The Bill states that all stone crushing units should provide adequate green belt comprising evergreen high foliage type of trees like neem and tamarind. The safe zone should not be located 100 metre from national highways, state highways and 50 metres from major district roads. Each unit should be located on a minimum area of one acre.

The onus of identifying and procuring land lies with the applicant. It emphasises on arresting pollution from the crushing units by mandating safeguards to protect the environment rather than prescribing distance only as the basis of declaring ‘safe zone’. Permission from KSPCB will be compulsory before issuing licence.

The government also introduced the University of Agricultural Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which seeks to reduce the number of members on the Board of Management of all agricultural universities from 22 to 12.

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