The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has relaxed environment clearance norms for small mineral mines in Rajasthan, which were facing closure following a National Green Tribunal order of June 14.
The relaxation will prevent closure of over 18,000 mines and quarries for want of environmental clearances (EC) and benefit thousands of small mine owners.
The MoEF issued a notification to this effect Friday, days before the NGT was to hear the matter on July 5.
Majority of small mines (of area up to 5 hectare) and mining clusters less than 25 hectares will now be able to get their ECs from the District Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. For smaller mines of up to one hectare, mine owners will no longer have to furnish an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to obtain ECs.
“The CM (Vasundhara Raje) personally took it up with the environment minister,” a state government source said.
The notification cites the “sudden unemployment of a large number of persons in the State of Rajasthan due to closure of mines”.