In a bid to curb illegal mining activities, the government has set up a committee to formulate guidelines that will ensure a transparent system for sand extraction and suggest ways for effective working of the mining surveillance system (MSS).
The panel, which is being chaired by the mines secretary, has officials from several states, including Karnataka.
The move assumes significance also because the suggestions of the panel on bringing transparency and developing a sustainable model for especially the minor mineral mining will help lower the cost of sand as well as construction of affordable housing.
"It has been decided to constitute a committee to study the existing system of sand mining in various states and prepare sand mining guidelines which addresses the concerns in this sector," an official said.
The terms of reference of the committee shall be "to suggest sand mining guidelines with a view towards a transparent and sustainable system for extraction of sand for ensuring supply of adequate sand at reasonable rates in the states and the way forward for effective implementation of the mining surveillance system (MSS) and the star rating of mines for major and minor minerals," the official said.
The committee will also look into the way forward in implementation of the MSS and star rating of mines, the official added.
The mines ministry, through the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), has developed the MSS in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) to use the space technology to check illegal mining.
The government had earlier said that it was also looking at engaging with states to ensure that MSS is used effectively and the illegal mining can be curbed quickly.
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