SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, on Saturday chaired a meeting to review mining activities towards ensuring the availability of construction material at reasonable prices in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Revenue, Mining, Forest, Ecology & Environment, besides Director, Ecology, Environment & Remote Sensing, Member Secretary, Pollution Control Board (PCB), Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, all Deputy Commissioners, District SPs, and concerned officers participated in the meeting.
While emphasizing the availability of various minor minerals at reasonable prices, the Chief Secretary directed the concerned to expeditiously complete the registration process of auctioned mines for their early operationalization so that the supply of these minerals is augmented and consequently prices are stabilized across all districts.
The Chief Secretary expressed concern over the failure of successful bidders of the e-auction of minor mineral mines in completing the requisite codal formalities. The Chief Secretary asked the Mining Department to initiate cancellation proceedings if they fail to apply for the statutory clearances within the stipulated time frame and consider re-auction of the defunct mines.
Reviewing the issue of pendency of departmental NOCs, the Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioners to hold special reviews and facilitate time-bound issuance of the same.
The Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu were also directed to undertake regular market surveillance and ensure the availability of construction material at equitable rates across all districts. They were asked to analyze the difference in rates between districts and rationalize the same, besides ensuring enforcement of the notified rates by curbing any form of illegal mining or trade. They were asked to take strict penal actions against the delinquent agencies found to be associated with illegal activities and overcharging.
Dr Mehta further asked the Mining Department to install dedicated helpline numbers to facilitate grievance redressal on account of unavailability of construction materials at notified prices, besides periodically monitoring district-wise market rates and taking strict action against over pricing.