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SC appointed Central Empowered Committee(CEC) report on Sand mining in Rajasthan 

Why in News? 

SC has appointed a Central Empowered Committee(CEC) to look into sand mining in Rajasthan. The panel has submitted its report. 

 Facts: 

  • Background: In February 2020, Central Empowered Committee(CEC) was appointed by SC. Its mandate was to look into illegal sand mining in Rajasthan and submit a report suggesting measures to deal with it. 

 What are the recommendations given by the committee? 

  • It has recommended imposing a fine of Rs 10 lakh per vehicle and Rs 5 lakh per cubic meter of sand seized. 
  • It has been said that no unregistered tractor shoulbe used as a commercial vehicle to transport sand from the mining site to the transit depot. 
  • It has also recommended   
    • Termination of all the khatedari leases located within 5 km from the riverbank, where violations are detected. 
    • The scrapping of the excess royalty collection contract system. 

 Addition Facts: 

  • Sand Mining: It is an activity referring to the process of the actual removal of sand from the foreshore including rivers, streams and lakes. 
  • Regulation of Sand Mining: 
    • Sand is a minor mineral, as defined under section 3 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act,1957 (MMDR Act).  
    • Section 15 of the MMDR Act empowers state governments to make rules for regulating the grant of mineral concessions in respect of minor minerals and for purposes connected therewith. 
    • Section 23C of the Act  empowers state governments to frame rules to prevent illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals and for purposes connected therewith. 
    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 which inter-alia, addresses the issues relating to the regulation of sand mining. 

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