Centre to consider applications for mining only in notified areas

Narendra Singh Tomar.Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Narendra Singh Tomar.Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

The Union Ministry of Mines on Wednesday said mining lease applications from States would only be considered if they pertain to notified areas.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “States usually forward mining applications in both notified and non-notified areas. We have decided not to consider applications related non-notified areas. We will return applications of non-notified areas to the respective State governments.”

“State governments will have to re-examine the applications. They have to notify the non-notified areas and then forward the applications to the Centre. If States face difficulty in notifying certain areas, it will have to intimate reasons to Centre,” Mr. Tomar said.

The Union Minister said, “We will take expeditious decision on applications involving notified areas. Everybody knows about notified areas and participates in the process. As far as non-notified areas are concerned, nobody knows about the areas and purpose of mining.”

“At present, we have to take steps keeping in mind the Shah Commission recommendations and the Supreme Court directives. We have already proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2010 for performing regulatory functions with greater efficiency. But till the Act is amended, we have to work within the existing framework,” he said.

Mr. Tomar informed that State governments had already given their views on proposed amendment of the MMDR Act and it would be finalised after consulting stake-holders.

The Mines Minister said the mining lease application of POSCO-India, which is setting up a mega steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha, was being considered in a positive frame of mind, but the mining lease area involved both notified and non-notified areas.

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