New Delhi : Sand is a minor mineral under Section 3(e) of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act). Section 15 of the MMDR Act empowers the State Governments for making rules for regulating the grant of quarry leases, mining leases or other mineral concessions in respect of minor minerals and for purposes connected therewith. Hence, the regulation of minor minerals comes under the legislative and administrative domain of the State Governments.
Further, Section 23C of the MMDR Act empowers the State Governments to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals and for the purposes connected therewith. Hence, control of illegal mining comes under the legislative and administrative purview of the State Governments.
However, the Ministry of Mines has prepared a ‘Sand Mining Framework’ in consultation with Mining Departments of the States incorporating best practices amongst States with the objectives of sustainability, availability, affordability, and transparency in sand mining. The ‘Sand Mining Framework’ has been circulated to all the State Governments for necessary action. Moreover, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has issued Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016, which, inter-alia, addresses the issues relating to the regulation of sand mining.
This information was given by the Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.