The state governments controversial amendment to the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers Act 2011 (KRSC Act) promulgated by an ordinance duringthe coronavirus-induced lockdown has reached the Karnataka High Court.
The petition is filed by R Anjaneya Reddy, a resident of Patrenahalli in Chikkaballapur taluk. The petition stated that there was no specific public emergency to amend the provisions in the Act during the national lockdown on March 31, 2020. The KRSC Act was introduced by the state government following the orders of the Karnataka High Court on a PIL in the year 1998. The petitioner claimed that the high court had laid down certain conditions and directed the state government to incorporate them in the Act. Whereas, most of the amendments carried out by the state government are against the orders of the high court, the petitioner claimed.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice H P Sandesh ordered the issuance of notice to Department of Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Department of Mines and Geology. The matter has been posted to August 24 for furtherhearing.
One of the major contentions in the PIL is with regard to the amendment to Section 5 of the Act. The amendment has allowed granting of license for the period of 20 years. The petition contended that the high court in 1998 had directed the state to issue licenses for one year and renew it every year by charging a license fee. The petitioner contended that the amendment will make the license an absolute property of the licensee.
Similarly, the omission of Sub Sections 3 to 7 of the Section 3 forbears the crusher owners from filing a declaration that the crusher is situated in a safer zone. It enables the crusher owner to carry out the business beyond the safer zone. The petitioner also stated that insertion of Section 4 A allows a license holder to transfer the license to any person. The petition submitted that once new licenses are issued under the amended provisions, there is likelihood of licensees taking undue advantage and that it could lead to litigation.
In a bid to provide employment to all the stranded non-local labourers and with a view to ensuring the supply of construction material viz. sand and stone aggregate especially for ongoing development projects, the Department of Industries andCommerce allowed the operation of stone crushers in Jammu and Kashmir.
"It may be pertinent to note that in pursuance to notification No: 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated March 14, 2020, of Government of India regarding measures for containment of COVID 19 in the country, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (State Executive Committee) notified Standard Operating Procedure vide order No. 44-JK (DMRR) of 2020 dated April 17, 2020, for regulating activities of industries/industrial/commercial/private establishments in J&K," the official statement said.
The representatives of the industry have highlighted the necessity of the operation of stone crushers to meet the demand of the sand and aggregate. The Industries andCommerce department examined the issues and allowed the stone crushers as covered under government order to operate subject to the fulfillment of all requisite norms as prescribed by the government of J&K for the operation of stone crushers. The decision came days after Jammu and Kashmir Administration decided to resume activities in almost all major industrial areas.
As per the Standard Operating Procedure, projects like development /construction and other works of Industrial estates have been allowed at 3 (c) (v), Brick Kilns in J&K have already been allowed. The government of J&K has allowed some select additional activities for the resumption of construction activities during the lockdown period by the construction departments.
Director Industries andCommerce, Jammu, Anoo Malhotra, and Director Industries andCommerce Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah issued separate orders for the operation of stone crushers in their respective divisions subject to the fulfillment of norms prescribed by the Government of J&K for running such units. Commissioner Secretary, Industries & Commerce Department, MK Dwivedi expressed the hope that with the operation of stone crushers, the supply chain of construction activities for development projects shall be ensured. He also emphasized the need for ensuring social distancing and safety measures in the unit premises to avoid violation of the guidelines issued in this regard.
There is no effective action on the ground except paper work of calculating compensation. Can such situation be allowed by authorities if doctrine of public trust and good governance are to be followed. This should be eye opener for the authorities in the State of Punjab but it seems that no attention is being paid to the same. There is clear need for continuous evaluation and remedial action, the bench said.
The NGT said it appears that stand alone stone crushers have been allowed, without permission for mining, possibly to avoid the requirement of Environmental Clearance but, on the ground, mining is taking place to feed such stone crushers. Establishment of such stone crushers is thus against the spirit of requirement of Environmental Clearance. This is resulting in not only loss of revenue but also damage to the environment. It appears to be necessary in these circumstances that the state pollution control board revisits its policy of the consents under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to stand alone stone crushers without credible and effective data to ensure that raw material is not sourced by illegal mining, the bench said.
The tribunal directed that a suitable mechanism for the purpose may be evolved by the Chief Secretary, Punjab within one month from today and remedial action taken expeditiously, preferably within three months thereafter.
Within a few days of receiving a formal invitation from the Tamil Nadu government to invest in the State, Kitex Garments has accepted another invitation from the Telangana government. While the Tamil Nadu government has arranged a meeting with the minister and assured of providing many incentives to the company, the Telangana government has gone a step further and sent a special flight to Kerala to bring the company leadership to Hyderabad for wooing Rs 3,500- crore project to the State. KITEX Managing Director Sabu Jacob and a five-member team would go to Hyderabad on Friday (9 July) by a special flight sent by the Telangana government, reports The Indian Express.
Veteran diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri became India's new oil minister on Thursday, an appointment welcomed by energy experts who expect him to strike better import deals and showcase New Delhi as an attractive destination for investment in the sector. Puri's appointment comes amid public anger over record-high fuel prices in India, which is now the world's third largest importer and consumer of oil and is seeking to strike better bargains with producers. His past experience as India's permanent representative to the United Nations will serve Puri well in his new role, diplomats and sector experts said.
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 8 (ANI): Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday took a jibe at the recent reshuffle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet stating that veteran leaders like Ravi Shankar Prasad had been removed.
The lead scientist on China's Sinovac vaccine trials in Indonesia died of suspected Covid-19 on Wednesday, Indonesian media announced. Kumparan news service said Novilia Sjafri Bachtiar had died of the coronavirus.
Beijing [China], July 9 (ANI): As China plans to deploy one of its "largest-ever" oceanographic research and training vessels in Paracel Islands, Vietnam said that all the activities in the islands without the country's permission are "illegal".
Of this, the project being built by Raghvendra Constructions in Mumbais Goregaon suburb has nearly 200 apartments, including 70 tenants. The project in Thane by Arvij Builders has 100 apartments including tenants and new homebuyers.
Singh said that Barmecha along with Sachin Dutta entered into an agreement to sell with original allottee, Raj Hans Pvt Ltd, for a plot of land inspite of the fact that the plot cannot be transferred before making full payment of lease amount. He said that later on the land was cancelled on account of non-payment of authority dues in 2015.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to file a report on framing new laws on stone crushing. A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the KP government's appeal to void the legislation on stone crushing.
The bench also sought a report from the Environment Department regarding the instant matter. The court noted that the KP framed new laws, despite the fact that the matter related to stone crushing had been pending before it. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said stone crushing was an important issue.
He said the apex court, last year in September had passed an order, which had not been implemented. The residents of KP complained that the provincial government did not take action against the stone crushers as many of its plants were owned by the KP MPAs.
He said the apex court had directed the KP government that the stone crushers should be of international standard. The judge said the local people had attached photographs along with their application. The residents have filed a petition against the construction of a crushing plant near residential areas terming it a violation of the Environment Act.
Advocate Aitzaz Ahsan, representing stone crushers, said his clients were working according to international standards. The Additional Advocate General KP informed that in the new laws the government had reduced the distance from the populated areas from one kilometer to 300 meters.
Justice Mansoor said the reason for reducing the distance had not been explained. He said it seemed that the government had prepared rules in drawing rooms. The AAG KP said the Environment Department described a 300-meter distance, appropriate.
He said the Court commission report also stated that 375 meters of distance of crushers from the populated areas was enough. Justice Bandial said the High Court struck down the power to reduce the distance. He hoped that with the new technology, pollution would be further reduced.
The judge noted that according to the report, the vibration due to stone crushing was felt in the radius of 260 meters and noise pollution traveled 300 meters. The lawyer of the local people informed that the provincial government had framed new rules during the pendency of that case.
According to the new rules, in urban areas the distance should be 500 meters, while in the rural areas it was 300 meters. Justice Bandial said when the appeal against the Peshawar High Court (PHC) was pending then how the provincial government had framed new rules. The court, issuing notice to the KP government, adjourned the case for date in office.
Stone crusher owners in Una district proceeded on strike yesterday. Their decision is likely to hit construction activity in both government and private sectors in the lower areas of Himachal. Last year also, they had been on strike for about two months, leading to a steep rise in the prices of construction material such as sand and gravel in the region.
Dimple Thakur, president of the Stone Crusher Owners Union in Una, alleged that they went on strike as the government had failed to provide them protection against anti-social elements, who are obstructing their legal business in villages. The stone crusher owners objected to the groups of vigilantes in many areas of the state who were opposing the movement of heavy vehicles on rural roads.
The stone crusher owners have requested the state government to allow mechanical mining in the leased areas allotted to them. They alleged that mining was not possible without machines. It was almost impossible to mine sand and gravel at a commercial scale with shovels, as has been prescribed in the mining rules of Himachal. They urged the government to allow them to lift sand and gravel with 80 BhP machines, as was being done in many other states. They alleged that disallowing mechanical mining even in leased areas was leading to corruption.
Director, Industries, Rakesh Prajapati said that the government policy was clear that illegal mining would not be allowed. The pressure tactics of the stone crusher owners would not work and those involved in illegal mining would be dealt with strictly, as per the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), he added.
He said that the government was planning to geo-fence the areas allotted on mining leases in the entire state to check the illegal activity. About the demand for allowing mechanical mining, the Director said that the issue was under the consideration of the state government.
Recently, an NGT team led by Justice Jasbir Singh, a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had visited Una district to prepare a report on illegal mining in the Swan river. Even Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in a statement issued recently admitted to large scale illegal mining in the river.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling English daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The National Green Tribunal Tuesday directed the Punjab government to limit the number of stone crushers as per carrying capacity of source of raw material available. The carrying capacity addresses the question as to how many stone crushers can be permitted into any area without the risk of of degrading the environment there.
There is no effective action on the ground except paper work of calculating compensation. Can such a situation be allowed by authorities if the doctrine of public trust and good governance are to be followed.
This should be eye opener for the authorities in the State of Punjab but it seems that no attention is being paid to the same. There is clear need for continuous evaluation and remedial action, the bench said.
The NGT said it appears that stand alone stone crushers have been allowed, without permission for mining, possibly to avoid the requirement of Environmental Clearance but, on the ground, mining is taking place to feed such stone crushers.
It appears to be necessary in these circumstances that the state pollution control board revisits its policy of the consents under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to stand alone stone crushers without credible and effective data to ensure that raw material is not sourced by illegal mining, the bench said.
The tribunal directed that a suitable mechanism for the purpose may be evolved by the Chief Secretary, Punjab within one month from today and remedial action taken expeditiously, preferably within three months thereafter.Get in Touch with Mechanic