HC seeks checklist on illegal mining

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Feb 21: High Court today directed the authorities of Geology and Mining to report the court about the check list so that to ensure the proper safety of mining places as also the individuals.
The Division Bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura while hearing a PIL on adverse affects of mining activities across the State due to negligence on part of the authorities directed the check list by next date so that the same be incorporated in the provisions for regular operation of mining in the State.
Counsel representing in the PIL submitted before the Court that the authorities particularly Commissioner Secretary Industries & Commerce Department as also Director Geology and Mining have ignored the objective of supervision and inspection of the mining activities in the J&K State which has adversely affected the landscape of the J&K State and has caused heavy loss of lives, property and has adversely affected the environment besides polluting air, water and soil.
Court directed the senior officer of the department of the rank of Joint Director to provide the check list of individuals and Mining Places which are operating in the Valley. Court has also directed that officials shall hold a meeting with the petitioner-counsel  in this connection and counsel representing Central Government has also been directed to ensure to hold the meeting with amicus for finalizing the check list.
Court also observed that due to mining which goes beyond limits claims various precious lives as such safety gadgets and medical facility should also be in place on mining sites.
The minerals of the State, as per the Act, are classified as major minerals which include limestone, iron ore manganese ore, bauxite etc and minor minerals like nallah boulders, sand, bajri, clay and building stone, masonry stones etc.
“The State of J&K has vast natural mineral resources throughout the State which include limestone suitable for manufacture of cement, chiseled limestone, fundai limestone, hamam limestone, magnesite deposits in Katra-Panthal area of Jammu province, bauxite deposits of Udhampur district, Gypsum deposits of Doda and Uri Baramulla, Marble deposits in Kupwara district, Granite deposits in Kargil, Kangan,Baramulla, Udhampur and also billion tones of minor minerals like sand, bajri, nalla boulders which are available in river Chenab, Tawi river, river Jhelum and other tributaries besides Karewa deposits of clay in Kashmir valley million tones of clay extracted for brick kilns, construction of roads and highways as well as railway tracks and other prestigious projects of State and mainly huge quantity of clay is extracted from Anantnag, Budgam and Pulwama districts in Kashmir”, the PIL mentioned.
Underscoring the importance of these mineral which are required for developmental works, petitioner submitted that the same time environment and the landscape is required to be maintained while extracting such minerals and no harm and damage is required to be caused to them.
Counsel stated that the directions be issued to the authorities to appoint sufficient number of managers, assistant managers, mining engineers and assistant mining engineers having requisite qualification.
“All required steps be taken to preserve and maintain deposits and health of mines as also environment, ecology, landscape and habitation around the mines be preserved”, read the PIL
Petitioner prayed that authorities be directed to take effective steps for curtailing, restricting and arresting illegal mining across the state.