Violation by mines: HC seeks ATR

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The High Court Wednesday sought the Action Taken Report (ATR) from the government against the mines that have violated Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR) despite being issued show-cause notices by the concerned central agency.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta asked Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce department to file the ATR within six weeks.

The direction came after the court went through the report of the Regional Controller of Mines, Indian Bureau of Mines.

The report said vide letter dated April 18, 2020, J&K government was asked to initiate appropriate action as per the provisions of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act against non-responsive mines that violated MCDR even after issuance of show-cause notices and suspension orders.

According to the report, the mines are regularly examined for compliance towards various provisions which included non-adherence of proposals contained in the approved plan of the MCDR, the rules framed under section 18 of the act.

The report reveals that where non-compliances are observed, statutory actions are initiated by pointing out violations through violation letters against the defaulter mining lease holders.

While the report divulged that during the last four years, 257 rules were found violated at 34 mining lease instances, it said as a result, mining operations at 15 mines were suspended by the office of the Regional Controller of Mines, Indian Bureau of Mines. The report said that these suspensions orders were endorsed to the J&K government with a request not to issue transport slip of mineral till suspension was revoked by the office of the Regional Controller of Mines, Indian Bureau of Mines.