Uttarakhand to have new mining policy soon, say state officials

State Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said, 'for the first time, suggestions have been invited from the stakeholders to formulate 'User Friendly' policy for mining'.

Published: 02nd October 2021 08:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2021 09:56 AM   |  A+A-

Sand mafia

Uttarakhand has lost about 50,000 hectares of its forests to 'developmental activities' in the past 20 years. (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: A few state officials, on Saturday, said Uttarakhand is likely to formulate a new mining policy soon.

State Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said, "for the first time, suggestions have been invited from the stakeholders to formulate 'User Friendly' policy for mining".

He further added that the new policy is likely to increase the revenue of Rs 500-1000 crore.

Meanwhile, environmentalists, activists have objected to this suggestion alleging indiscriminate mining already being practiced in the hill state. 

Dushyant Mainali, a practising advocate who has been pursuing multiple petitions including public interest litigations said, "the negative impact of illegal sand mining far outweighs the economic benefits. The perception that sand and boulders are useless and rivers have a lot of sand is incorrect, because they are crucial for the sustained existence of the river and perform many functions. It remains to be seen what this policy holds for the state."

Incidents of landslides and loss of lives due to such incidents have increased exponentially in last few years in Uttarakhand.

The data from the Uttarakhand State Disaster Managment department reveals that landslide incidents registered a whopping 2900 per cent increase from the year 2015 to year 2020.

Uttarakhand has lost about 50,000 hectares of its forests to 'developmental activities' in the past 20 years, revealed data by the state forest department last year. 

Interestingly, the top six activities for which around 21,207 hectares of forest land in the state has been include mining, hydropower plants, road construction, power distribution lines, water pipelines and irrigation. 

According to the data, the highest amount of forest cover has been lost to mining (8760 ha) followed by road construction (7539 ha), power distribution lines (2332 ha) and hydropower plant projects (2295 ha). 

Uttarakhand’s forest cover is spread over around 38,000 sq km, which is 71 per cent of the state’s geographical area with flora of variety of species including at least 112 species of trees, 73 species of shrubs, and 94 species of herbs. 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp