Green rider virtually halts mining
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Prices of building material skyrocket in Haryana despite no ban on mining
There is no ban on mining in Haryana. However a green rider on mining has led to a virtual drying up of supply of minor minerals like sand and bajri in the state.
In a bid to restore mining in the state, the state government had made a comprehensive revision of its minor mineral concession rules and made environmental clearance mandatory. However, this clause has now defeated the very purpose for which the rules were revised. It has also, sources said, led to the flourishing of the illegal mining mafia and skyrocketing of building material prices.
Builders and realtors claim that the construction sites are being supplied "smuggled minor minerals" at double the usual price. Besides sand and gravel, the shortage has led to an exorbitant hike in the prices of bricks.
Contacted, a senior officer told The Indian Express that despite the new rules being notified in June this year, the state is facing a serious problem regarding availability of minor minerals.
"We have allowed mining after obtaining the environmental clearance. But there is a serious lacunae in this, as there is no clarity on who will monitor (the mines) after environmental clearance is obtained by the mining companies. Even getting this clearance is no easy task," he said.
Also, the matter regarding the environmental clearance is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High court. Thus, till the time the court decides the case mining activities can't be undertaken despite the fact that there is no such ban.
Ironically, the rules were revised as per the orders of Supreme Court. The apex court had directed all states to revise their minor mineral concession rules strictly under the guidelines issued by the ministries of mines and environment and forests.
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