Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo

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Jammu, Dec 20 – Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo on Tuesday impressed upon the Department of Mining and Divisional administration to act tough against the menace of illegal mining in the Union Territory besides taking steps to provide the necessary building material to public smoothly by increasing the number of permits given to extract such minor minerals here.

Divisional Commissioners, Secretary, Mining; Director Mining, Kashmir and Jammu besides other concerned officers attended the meeting.

The Chief Secretary during the meeting remarked that in order to put a complete stop on the illegal mining, the administration has to work on the two pronged strategy.

He asked for devising the effective deterrents to curb it besides increasing permits to include all areas so that people and public projects do not face any dearth of such construction material in the Union Territory.

“Our vast geographical diversity promises of bearing reserves of different minerals across the length and breadth of J&K,” said the Chief Secretary and impressed upon the Department to expedite the process of exploration of such major minerals to augment the resources of the UT.

He also took note of the revenue models to be adopted for auctioning of some of the valuable mineral blocks of lithium, bauxite or others.

Dulloo also asked for streamlining the auctioning of the mineral blocks besides making every effort to operationalise all the auctioned blocks here.

He asked for conducting meetings every month by the concerned Deputy Commissioners to decide about the cases received through the single window system.

The Chief Secretary advised the Department to acquire the services of the transaction advisor wherever required for taking the process of auctioning to logical conclusion.

He made out that the constitution of J&K Environment Impact Assessment Authority (JKEIAA) is in its final stage of constitution to make the availability of minerals more smooth in the market.

Secretary Mining, Rashmi Singh informed the meeting about the availability of different kinds of minor and major minerals across the districts of the UT.

She made out that dozens of blocks of limestone, gypsum, coal, magnetite, lignite, granite, sapphire and others have been identified for exploration here.

She further gave out that 208 Minor Mineral Leases (RBM) have been granted by the Department through e-auctioning.

The department has realized an amount of Rs 10185 lakhs during the current financial year and has also issued 3643 short term or disposal permits for extracting RBM/Ordinary earth to facilitate execution of projects of national importance/government works in J&K from January 2020 to November 2023, the meeting was informed.

It was further apprised that the Department has taken several reforms like witching from first come first serve basis to e-auctioning, constitution of single window clearance system, steps to ensure ease of doing business, introduction of e-challan, e-market web portal.

The department has also taken a plethora of measures to curb illegal mining including introduction of a mining surveillance system, mineral check posts, vehicle tracking system besides others, as was given out in the meeting.