The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, today chaired a meeting to review the functioning and progress of the Geology and Mining Department. The meeting was held to discuss the mining activities towards generating employment opportunities and preparing future plan of operations.
While chairing the meeting, the Chief Secretary directed the officers to prepare a future plan for mining operations spelling out the details about the number of people the department will generate employment for and the kind of economic activity the department is going to add.
To ensure uniformity of rates of minor minerals across the districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Secretary directed that the number of mineral blocks identified for mining operations should be uniformly distributed across the districts.
The Chief Secretary also emphasized the availability of various minor minerals at reasonable prices and directed the Mining Department to submit a comparative rate sheet. He also said that the mine surveillance system and e-marketplace should be rolled out on priority within the shortest time frame.
A detailed presentation was provided highlighting the achievements of the departments and the major interventions that have been introduced and the projects that are in the pipeline.
It was given out that e-Marketplace (On-Line Web Portal) for the consumers shall be provided enabling them to purchase minor minerals (online) at the rates notified by the Government in a particular District. The portal shall provide District wise/block-wise details of vendors along with rates notified by the District Rate Fixation Committee.
It was given out that the Department on one hand shall provide online services to the consumers and simultaneously keep a check on the quantity of material (minor mineral) being extracted and sold and would reconcile the total quantity consumed by the contractor per month or annum -viz-a-viz royalty charged.
Regarding the identification of mineral blocks, it was given out that 74 new minor mineral blocks of limestone, gypsum marble etc have been identified during 2021-22 and have been sent to the concerned DCs for single-window clearance.
For curbing the illegal mining activity, this Department has initiated a slew of measures. It said that the Government has constituted a multi-disciplinary District Level Task Force Cell under the chairmanship of concerned Deputy Commissioners to check and curb the illegal extraction of minor minerals.
It also said that the Department is conducting regular checks and seizures and 5082 carriers have been seized for illegal transportation and realized fine to the tune of Rs 13,76 cr from the violators during the year 2021-22 (by January, 2022). Following the guidelines of MOEF&CC, the process of android based mobile application integrated with an online portal aided with online weighbridges for tracking of transportation of minor minerals has been initiated