Quarries: State Govt to Simplify EC Norms

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday, also decided that the Environment Department would issue an order in this regard

Published: 16th July 2014 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2014 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of National Green Tribunal’s directive making prior environmental clearance (EC) mandatory for quarries, the State Government has decided to simplify the procedures for obtaining EC for operating quarries in an area of less than five hectares.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday, also decided that the Environment Department would issue an order in this regard. Oommen Chandy also issued the directives to carry out the feasibility study for preparing the mining plan for the same and formulate the consultancy panel for the purpose.

 The National Green Tribunal has ordered that prior sanction should be obtained for operating quarries in the state. It is in the backdrop of this order that the high- level meeting, attended by ministers P K Kunhalikutty, Aryadan Mohammad, Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan, Adoor Prakash and officials, decided to simplify the procedures so as to speed up the steps in this regard.

 Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Minister pointed out that environment protection is essential and important. However, that should not create a situation where construction activities are completely stalled. The construction sector in the state is facing a crisis, he said. The price hike and non-availability of construction material are posing threats.

 In the wake of the National Green Tribunal order, more crises in the construction sector would affect the state’s development. By simplifying the procedures for obtaining clearances, this crisis can be overcome, he said.

 It was decided at the high-level meeting that similar norms which are currently applicable for removing ordinary soil and  brick soil from places with an area of less than five hectares will be applicable to quarries also. The order issued by Environment Department in this regard is available at www. seiaakerala.org.



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