No mining of earth without prior sanction, SC told

No mining of earth without prior sanction, SC told

The government has made it mandatory for miners to take its sanction for all kinds of mining activities, including extraction of earth and sand.

“For any type of mining activity for brick earth on the area of less than 5 hectare, it is necessary to get environmental clearance from the concerned authority at the state level,” the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) informed the Supreme Court in an affidavit.

It said that the government has on December 24, last also issued guidelines for consideration of proposals for grant of environmental clearance as per the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2006 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

So as per the decision, the minor mineral mining projects having less than 5 hectare of lease area are required to be appraised by the respective State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAAs) for granting environment clearance.

The government’s submission has come in response to the notice issued by the apex court. The court was dealing with a special leave petition seeking direction to stop the brick kilns in Uttarakhand from illegal quarrying earth and stop the operations run without permission from the MoEF.

In a reply, the government further said that it has already categorized projects between ‘A’ and ‘B’ which are handled by the Centre and state level respectively.

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