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Vigil On Minor Minerals

The Odisha Government has identified 144 Tehsils as Minor Mineral Sensitive Zones, for which Enforcement Cells have been opened. 

Accordingly, District authorities have been asked to conduct raids to stop illegal mining and theft of minor minerals in these areas.

Concerned over illegal mining and theft of minor minerals, the State Government has directed the District Magistrates to go for regular inspection of minor mineral resources to prevent such illegal actions.

Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management has written to the District Magistrates in this regard on 22 June.
 
Illegal mining and theft of minor minerals is not only causing serious threat to the environment, it is also affecting revenue generation, thus hitting the State exchequer hard, Mr.Sethi said to the District Magistrates in his letter.
 
The most worrying factor is the lack of initiative and enthusiasm by the field officers in inspecting the areas to check illegalities, said a senior official in the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management.
 
Unless there is a complaint, no one is inclined to inspect the field to check possible illegalities, admits the senior officer.
 
As there is hardly any demarcation of the leased out/permitted source area helping smugglers going for theft of precious minerals, the State Government has adopted inspection mechanism to check such illegalities, informed the officer.
 
On registration of the Lease Agreement, the boundary of the source area shall be demarcated, he said.
 
As per the new mechanism, Collectors will draw up list of Tehsil wise teams and the team shall verify the sources sites and see if there is any illegal mining or theft.
 
During field visit, the team shall also verify other areas not recognized as sources but have potential of minor mineral deposit, to assess illegal mining and theft. The concerned Tehsildar of the locality will take immediate action if illegal mining or theft is noticed.
 
District Magistrate, ADM and Sub Collectors will also visit the sources to see that rules and regulations in mining of minor minerals are followed, said sources.   
 


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