- Recently, the Ministry of Mines has notified the Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR), 2017.
- The MCDR has been framed under section 18 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957[MMDR Act].
- They provide rules regarding conservation of minerals, systematic and scientific mining, development of the mineral in the country and for the protection of the environment.
- Rules prescribed that all plans and sections related to mine shall be prepared by combination of Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) or Total Station or by drone survey in relation to certain or all leases as may be specified by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM, Nagpur).
- A total station is an optical instrument commonly used in construction, surveying and civil engineering. It is useful for measuring horizontal angles, vertical angles and distance.
- New Rule inserted to provide for submission of digital images of mining areas by lessees and Letter of Intent holders.
- Lessees having annual excavation plans of 1 million tonne or more or having leased area of 50 hectare or more are required to submit drone survey images of leased area and up to 100 meters outside the lease boundary every year.
Penalty provisions in the rules have been rationalized. Amendment in the rules categorized the violations of the rules under the following major heads:
- Major Violations-Penalty of imprisonment, fine or both.
- Minor Violations-Penalty reduced. Penalty of only fine for such violations prescribed.
- Decriminalization of Rules- Violation of other rules has been decriminalized. These rules did not cast any significant obligation on the concession holder or any other person.
SOURCE: THE HINDU ,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT