SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the execution of mining leases in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Mining, Forest, Ecology & Environment, besides Director, Ecology, Environment & Remote Sensing, Member Secretary, Pollution Control Board (PCB) and concerned HoDs participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary asked the Mining Department to ensure sustainable exploration of major minerals in Jammu and Kashmir by adopting e-auction procedure in the current financial year.
Emphasizing the importance of time-bound systematic and scientific exploration of minerals in J&K, the Chief Secretary impressed upon the Department to undertake a pre-assessment of the mining blocks before their auction through an inter-disciplinary committee of officers drawn from concerned departments.
For the minor minerals blocks which are currently under the process of obtaining environmental clearance, the Department was directed to expedite 35 cases pending public hearing by 30th June 2021 followed by another batch of 32 cases by 30th July 2021; meanwhile completing the documentation of remaining cases.
Further, the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu were directed to rationalize existing rates of minor minerals in various districts and prevent illegal mining through strict surveillance.
Mehta asked concerned officers to ensure availability of minerals at reasonable rates to people as well as various Government agencies for speedy development of the UT.