Ban on sand mining in Maharashtra to go: MoEF

However, CRZ laws will hold wherever applicable


Geetanjali Minhas | April 18, 2011

The ministry of environment and forests has decided to lift the ban on sand mining in Maharashtra. The ministry plans to lift an administrative moratorium that had prevented sand from being mined in the state, environment minister Jairam ramesh said in Mumbai on Friday.

The minister clarified that for the areas falling in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ), the corresponding green laws have to be followed.

"All violations must be dealt in an intelligent manner," Ramesh said adding that  names of all violators  of CRZ ’91  will be made public on  the MoEF website by December.

MoEF issued its first-ever notice under section 5 of Environmental Protection Act to Har Siddhi Society on March 30. Har Siddhi building, like Adarsh, does not have CRZ clearance . It is also facing heat from the navy as a security threat as it is too close to its missile base, INS Trata.

Speaking on forest management, the minister said that the country must go through radical change by making tribal community partners in forest regeneration. Ramesh announced that efforts were on to declare bamboo a minor forest produce.

“New tiger reserves will be added in Maharashtra. National Tiger Conservation Authority will open its first fleet office in tiger gateway city of Nagpur soon," the minister said of the ministry's focus on the big cat's conservation.

Speaking on Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant the environment minister said,  “Public confidence and trust  particularly in nuclear energy must increase. Each unit of  the plant must have independent standalone safety system in place. After adequate environmental  clearances , AERB and NPCIL will put safety features in place”  and added, “MoEF under chairmanship of Dr  A  Muthunayagam has set up a committee to review all environment procedures  for coastal plants like power,  oil refineries and  oil storage depots to deal with emergencies like tsunami.”



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