U'khand HC puts stay on new mining policy

U'khand HC puts stay on new mining policy
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Nainital: In a blow to the state government, the Uttarakhand High Court has put a stay on its new mining policy that was rolled out on October 28, 2021.

The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra and Justice Alok Kumar Verma, acting on a petition, also issued a notice to the government and asked to submit its response within four weeks.

The petition, filed by a resident of Nainital, alleged that the new mining policy was rolled out without taking approval from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

It also alleged that due process was not followed while issuing mining leases to private parties and potential damage to the environment was ignored.

In the new policy, the first right of quarrying on up to 5 hectares of land would be given to its owner and no individual will be leased out the quarrying right for two areas.

It also entails that the government would give land on open bidding on all those reserved areas where its main three agencies - Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) and Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (UFDC) do not carry any river-bed mining.

The state government, for its part, said the decision to bring the new mining/quarrying policy, locally known as khanan came in order to end the foothold of the illegal operators which cause considerable revenue loss to the state.