Despite Monsoon, Mining Allegedly Goes Unchecked In Doodh Ganga

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According to guidelines, mining cannot be done from 1st July to 15th September in Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view the monsoon season.

Srinagar- Mining is allegedly going on unabated in Doodh Ganga tributary of river Jhelum contrary to the Mineral Concession Rules framed in 2016.

Locals from a Budgam locality alleged that mining is on at Doodh Ganda Nallah during the monsoon season which is in defiance of the mining regulations.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has set up the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in every state of India which gives environmental clearance for mining.

Rules for mining have been specifically framed in every state of India keeping in view the environmental impact and other factors.

Under the specific and standard guidelines issued by the SEIAA, mining cannot be done in the Monsoon Season.

The guidelines further said that mining cannot be done more one meter deep, machines cannot be used, CCTV cameras have to be installed at the mining sites and local populace has to get fifty percent rebate intending to buy minerals.

According to guidelines, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, mining cannot be done from 1st July to 15th September keeping in view the monsoon season.

However, timings for states of monsoon are different.

In 2015, the National Green Tribunal directed the Union Environment Ministry not to grant environmental clearance for sand mining in the rivers of north India till September 1 each year and during the rainy season.

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar gave the order on a plea by environmental activist Virendra Kumar alleging mining activity was being carried out by private parties during monsoons.

The open defiance of the norms has sent alarm bells among locals who have called upon the authorities to take legal action against people acting in defiance of the mining norms.

Locals allege there is gross violation of the norms and defiance of the norms is coming at a heavy cost for the environment.

It is pertinent to mention Wildlife Warden, Wetlands Division Kashmir issued a notice on 22nd July, 2022 to the District Mineral Officer Geology & Mining Department District Srinagar/ Budgam, urging them to regulate the illegal mining in Doodh Ganga Nallah.

Director Geology and Mining Department O P Bhagat was not available for comment despite repeated requests.

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Syed Mohammad Burhan

Syed Mohammad Burhan has Masters in Mass Communications and works as City Reporter at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @syedmohammad313

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