With immediate effect, South West Garo Hills District Magistrate S.K. Marak has issued an order under Section 144 CrPC forbidding any individual, institution, or organization from illegal mining or quarrying sand in the district without permission or authorization from the appropriate authorities.
The prohibition follows a recent directive from the State Forests & Environment Department that any sand quarry permit and mining lease should be strictly regulated in accordance with the Meghalaya Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 2016, and that illegal mining leases and quarry permits should not be granted without prior environmental clearance under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986.
According to the order, the State Government has duly adopted the sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016, and the Enforcement & Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020, which must be rigorously followed by the relevant authorities.
Illegal mining is an Offense
It also stated that mining or quarrying of sand without a quarry permit or mining lease from the competent authorities under the above-mentioned State rules is an offense, and officers concerned are authorized to take necessary action against such offenders under Section 21 of the Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957.