RAJOURI, JUNE 19: A panel headed by Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Rajesh K Shavan today held a public hearing for eliciting opinions, viewpoints and suggestions of the locals and other stakeholders for environmental clearance of a minor mineral Block 2/2 Nowshera Tawi river downstream project at Chatayari village of the district.
The other members of the panel included a representative of the Regional Directorate Office PCC Jammu, Dr Mohan Senahi; Divisional Officer PCC Rajouri, Bader Hussain and District Mineral Officer, JS Pawar.
The minor mineral mining project Nowshera Tawi downstream at Muradpur bridge is spread over an area of 9.52 hectares and the public hearing was held in terms of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006 of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India.
Several issues including ruthless extraction of river bed material, regulation of minor mineral blocks, strict enforcement of rates for raw material, check on air pollution arising out of hot-mix plants operating across the district, drying of dug wells and big river craters, the constitution of a district-level mining cell to keep a check on illegal mining besides other issues related to river bed mining were highlighted by the public representatives on the occasion.
The Environmental Consultant of M/s P&M Solution, Amit Kumar briefed the audience about the details of the proposed mining block clusters, including the mining method and anticipated impact from the mining in the area and the measures proposed under Environment Management Plan and Corporate Environmental Responsibility.
The pollution control committee members disseminated the necessary awareness among the public and educated them about the over-extraction of minor minerals through scientific ways, containing air, water and noise pollution.
In his address, the Deputy Commissioner said that the purpose of this public hearing is to address the concerns of the public regarding the process of mining of mineral blocks in the district and such meetings would be held regularly in future to take necessary feedback of the public in this regard.
The Deputy Commissioner assured the public that genuine concerns of the locals for reasonable rates of minor minerals; mining rights to Panchayats and other issues raised during the public hearing would be appropriately addressed.
The Deputy Commissioner told the participants that scientific mining will be done in proposed minor mineral projects by taking care of all the environmental safeguards.
The Deputy Commissioner said that excessive and unplanned mining poses a serious threat to the environment, and he made it clear that stern action as per the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal would be initiated against the persons found involved in the illegal river bed extraction.
Regarding the enforcement of rates of raw materials, the Deputy Commissioner directed the DMO to ensure that the raw materials are sold at genuine rates and take strict action against the violators.
It was decided that a special cell would be constituted at the district level to keep a check on illegal mining in the district.
The Deputy Commissioner also lauded the public for their cooperation in the efficient containment and management of COVID19 in the district and appealed to them to keep following all the covid related SOPs to mitigate the pandemic in the district.
The Deputy Commissioner also advised the public to get themselves vaccinated for COVID at the earliest to remain safe from the virus; he also asked them to get themselves tested for COVID after every ten to twelve days.
The Deputy Commissioner also urged upon the public to get themselves registered under the SEHAT scheme to avail necessary benefits under the scheme.