New Delhi: The Centre will soon come out with a national policy on "sustainable" sand mining to ensure that the ecology of rivers was maintained and they remain alive, and to curb the instances of flooding.
Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar said the policy, a draft notification of which is expected to be out in next two weeks, aims at making major mining and other such practices more sustainable to ensure ecology of rivers was maintained while sand was also available.
"(Illegal) sand mining has become headache all over the country. As a regulatory Ministry, we are in the process of reforming all major mining and other practices to make them more sustainable. So, a sustainable sand mining policy is on anvil," Javadekar told PTI.
To ensure that sand mining is carried out only in the area where sand is deposited naturally (by the river), he said, the Ministry will carry out satellite mapping of such sand deposits.
"Such mapping is key to the policy. We will allow mining only where sand is available. We will allow excavation of only a certain quantity of sand that does not kill rivers, which doesn't have adverse effect on the rivers' ecology and still sand is made available. This is the first part of the reforms," he said.
Among other measures, the Minister said the Government has planned to control actual mining using a "foolproof" web-based application to ensure contractors excavate sand only permissible quantity of sand.
"If somebody is given contract of extracting say 1000 brass of sand, he/she many a times mine more than the permissible limit. So, we have come out with a foolproof web-based application which will track movement of (vehicles carrying) sand.
Each truck will carry a bar-coded receipt at origin, which will be then tracked (using the application). This is the essence of the reform," he added.