Shimla: In order to streamline the system of mining and carriage of material from mining sites and to prevent illegal mining and carriage thereof, the industry department has issued additional instructions for strict compliance by the Mining Officers posted in districts and others concerned.

A spokesperson of Industries Department told here today informed that as per the instructions Mining Officers would ensure that all the existing permitted dumps of minor minerals of mining lease holders be removed and relocated at least at a distance of one kilometre away from the mining lease sites by 25th March 2020. Further, all the new dumps should only be allowed at least 1 km. away from mining lease areas and it would be ensured that signboards on such dumps indicating the name of the lessee, name of mining lease, its areas and the period of mining lease are placed. If cases of illegal mining by using mechanical excavators like JCB and pocklane etc are noticed then FIR would be lodged against JCB owner and the user/driver and JCB/mechanical excavator should be impounded.

If any mining lessee is found engaged in unauthorised mining or unscientific mining by using mechanical excavators like JCB, Pocklane, etc in violation of terms and condition of mining lease deed as well as the approved mining plan, the concerned Mining Officer shall immediately lodge FIR and impound the mechanical excavator and immediately suspend the mining activities and recommend the case for termination of mining lease to the competent authority instead of merely compounding the offence. In cases, the vehicles are caught carrying illegal mining material, the Mining Officer concerned shall write to the concerned RTO for cancellation of registration of such vehicles. No transit permit would be given to vehicles which are found engaged in illegal transportation of mining material repeatedly.

The Spokesperson said that the Mining Officers would take stringent action against the lessee who is involved in overloading by the suspension of lease and take up the matter with the concerned RTO for taking action against such vehicles with extended bodies under their respective Act or Rule. No transit permit would be issued to vehicles found to be having extended bodies. Mining Officers would issue roster for Mining Guards /Assistant Mining Inspectors/ Mining Inspectors to inspect the vulnerable areas covering the river bed as well as the terrain in a stretch wise manner for utilizing services of field staff effectively and regular inspection are to be ensured.

He informed that the Mining Officer would ensure that all the mining lease areas have properly erected boundary pillars to clearly depict the lease boundary. In case, the lessee does not erect the boundary pillars, the mining activities be suspended forthwith.

He informed that Mining Officers in consultation with local administration shall identify the points where barriers are required to be erected and also for weighbridges so that all vehicles crossing the borders could be checked/weighed and stringent action against the offenders could be taken. The Mining Officers shall submit proposal to respective Deputy Commissioners for approval and allocation of funds from the District Mineral Foundation Trust as these activities are required for environment preservation and development of infrastructure for sustainable mining activists. These proposals must be submitted to the Governing Councils of the DMFT latest by 31st March 2020 and expeditious action take thereafter.

The Spokesperson informed that all the Mining Officers are directed to ensure immediate implementation of these instructions. Any laxity in failure to do so would be viewed seriously and invite disciplinary action.

He said that State Geologist would prepare a format accordingly in which the Mining Officers would submit a monthly report to Director, Industries, Himachal Pradesh.  He said that strict monitoring of action taken by Mining Officers to implement this plan of action would be done by Director Industries and State Geologist.

Additional instructions are being issued separately to all the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police for ensuring prevention of illegal mining and scientific and systematic mining of Minor Minerals in the State.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.