Himachal govt issues guidelines for scientific mining

HP govt has decided to grant mining lease through open auction


Himachal Pradesh government has notified the guidelines for transparent auction and scientific mining and hiked the penalty for offences under the mining act. 
The government has decided that the mining lease would be granted through open auction, officials said.
In order to curb illegal mining the state government has notified Himachal Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) and Minerals (Prevention of Illegal Mining,Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2015 providing for stringent punishment for illegal mining. 
Imprisonment up to two years or fine up to Rs 25,000 or both has been made for those involved in illegal mining of minerals, their transportation and holding.
The compounding of offence for illegal mining has been linked with quantity of illegally extracted material and in addition to the minimum compounding fee of Rs 10,000, compounding fee of Rs 400 per metric tonne is being charged from the offender. 
Earlier, the compounding rate was Rs 10,000, irrespective of the quantity of mineral extracted.
The minimum fine would be Rs 25,000 when illegal mining is done mechanically in river/stream beds.Similarly, the compounding fee for illegal storage/ stacking of mineral would not be less than Rs 25,000 plus the market sale price of the total material stored illegally on the spot.
The minimum compounding fee for illegal transportation would be Rs 4500 for tractor, Rs 7,000 for medium truck/tipper, Rs 10,000 for a truck of 10 MT and Rs 15,000 for a truck with capacity of more than 10 MT.
In compliance of orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT), the government had banned mining in the state but at the same time, the government was concerned that the pace of development should not hamper for want of minerals and resorted to scientific mining.
As per the rules, no lease would be provided respect of land within a distance of two kilometres from the immediate outer limits of Municipal Corporation/ Municipal Committee, one kilometer from the immediate outer limits of Nagar Panchayat.