BHUBANESWAR : The Odisha government on Thursday notified the Odisha Sand Policy - 2021 to promote scientific and sustainable mining of the minor mineral in the State. Under it, the government will identify and quantify all potential sand sources and work out mining plan accordingly to address the demand-supply gap as well as the adverse effect of illegal mining on the river morphology in the State.
Guidelines for implementation of the policy will be framed by the Revenue and Disaster Management department soon. The Revenue department in consultation with the Water Resources and Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) will identify potential sand sources suitable for mining and conduct differential global positioning system (DGPS) survey of the source boundaries for improved location accuracy.
Remote sensing technology will be used to identify potential river sand beds, while the Water Resources department will carry out scientific study with support from IITs or other specialised institutions to examine existing geomorphology of an area having potential river sand bed to decide the location of sand mining.
The new policy also calls for district survey report (DSR) and gap assessment at district level to find out the demand-supply estimation and carry out sustainable sand mining in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The policy bans quarrying sand through mechanised suction method and blasting. Besides, no mining operation will be allowed in safety zones as well as prohibitory areas prescribed under Odisha Minor MineralConcession Rules - 2016.
Officials said an IT-enabled mechanism will be developed by the government with support from ORSAC for monitoring the movement of the minor mineral from source to end-user. The government will also develop a mining surveillance system (MSS) with technical assistance from ORSAC to curb illegal mining. The auction for sand mining will be done as per Odisha Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2016 and priority will be given to cluster mining over individual mines.
Remote sensing technology will be used to identify potential river sand beds
Quarrying will be carried out as per the mining plan
Statutory clearances will be obtained by Tehsildar