Aimed at bringing in transparency and fight the menace of sand mafia, the Centre today launched a web portal for online submission of environmental clearances of mining of sand and other minor minerals.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said after launching the online portal for getting environmental and forest clearances, this portal is a “revolutionary measure” which enables proponents to track their applications online.
“The web portal will lead to the empowerment of the project proponent, as it not only enhances transparency of the entire application process, but also enables the proponents to track their applications online.
“The web portal is a district-level, web-based and role-based workflow application for online submission and monitoring of proposals for category B2 projects,” he said.
The Minister said the notification for sustainable sand mining was issued four months ago and it had three key components.
“It will map through satellite where sand is deposited and its quantity. With that mapping, permissions will be granted for sites and quantity.
“Secondly, for transportation of mined sand, the Ministry will use technology with bar coded security proof receipt so that on one receipt only one truck will pass. The income of the state will increase and illegal mining will be curbed,” he said adding that illegal sand mining is a Rs 50,000 crore business in the country.
The web-based portal automates the entire tracking of proposals, which includes online submissions of a new proposal, editing and updating the details of proposals at each stage of the work-flow.
Some of the features of the application include? submission of all projects in a single window interface, facilitate management in effective monitoring, ascertaining delays in the clearance process, a unique ID for each proposal for future reference amongst others.
The portal aims at enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the environment clearance process, availability of real-time information and a more user-friendly application process.
Earlier, addressing the workshop on mining of sand and minor minerals, Javadekar emphasised that the government has changed the whole system of distribution of natural resources.
“Technological tools like satellite mapping will be used for identifying spots where sustainable sand mining can be allowed. Satellite mapping and bar-coded receipts will help in curbing illegal sand mining and illegal transportation of sand,” he said.