Reply by the Jammu & Kashmir Environment Impact Assessment Authority on grant of EC for minor mineral block, village Lalgam, district Budgam, Jammu & Kashmir, 26/06/2022
Reply by the Jammu & Kashmir Environment Impact Assessment Authority in the matter of Raja Muzaffar Bhat Vs Jammu & Kashmir Environment Impact Assessment Authority & Others, 26/06/2022.
The matter related to grant of Environmental Clearance (EC) for minor mineral block No. 4, Panzan Bridge to Trumbi Bagh, village Lalgam, tehsil Chadoora, district Budgam, Jammu & Kashmir.
Main objection of the appellant is that the impugned EC is in violation of Rule 4(iv) of Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 which prohibits mining within 25 meters from the embankment. Mining site is already over-exploited and not fit for mining. It will result in disruption of flow, impacting Hokersar wetland.
Jammu & Kashmir Environment Impact Assessment Authority said that EC granted was as per rules. Rule 4 of Jammu & Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 was amended in July 2017 - which prohibited any minor mineral concession being granted within a distance of 10 meters instead of 25 meters from any embankment/flood embankment.
The report said that JKEIAA had earlier rejected the project proposal based on the observations of the J&K Expert Appraisal Committee (JKEAC) January 2022 - as off take points of irrigation khuls were observed on Google Earth image in close vicinity of the mining stretch. Later, the project proponent submitted a new proposal, February 2022 - wherein the mining block No. 4 was resized and its area reduced.
On the resized mining block, the project proponent got a fresh NOC from the Irrigation Department stating that off-take points of irrigation khuls are beyond 200 meters and therefore, in line with the prescribed norms in the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines 2016 of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
It was on this basis that the case was again considered by J&K Expert Appraisal Committee (JKEAC) and environmental clearance issued in favor of the project proponent, the report to the NGT, June 26. 2022 said.