Environment Minister launches web portal for mining of sand and minor minerals

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A new web portal has been launched for online submission and monitoring of environmental approvals for mining of sand and minor minerals. Launching the web portal at a workshop on mining of sand and minor minerals here today, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that 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. Terming it a revolutionary measure, the Minister said that the web portal is a district-level, web-based and role-based workflow application for online submission and monitoring of proposals for Category B’2’projects.

The web-based application automates the entire tracking of proposals, which includes online submissions of a new proposal, editing/updating the details of proposals at each stage of the workflow. The system is based on web architecture. Some of the features of the application include– submission of all projects in a single window interface; facilitate management in effective monitoring; delays in the clearance process can be ascertained; a unique ID for each proposal for future reference; On-the-fly generation of all required reports; automatic mailer notification to take instance action; accessible from any PC having internet facility and different types of privileges/roles for users as per their responsibilities.

Among the objectives of the portal are – enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the environment clearance process; reduction in turnaround time for activity; enhance responsiveness through workflows automation and availability of real-time information; enhance ease and convenience of citizens and businesses in accessing information and services; achieve standardisation in processes across the states; online real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification; stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism and a more user-friendly application process.

Earlier, addressing the workshop on mining of sand and minor minerals, the Environment Minister emphasised that that the government has changed the whole system of distribution of natural resources. Shri Javadekar said that technological tools like satellite mapping will be used for identifying spots where sustainable sand mining can be allowed. He said that satellite mapping and bar-coded receipts will help in curbing illegal sand mining and illegal transportation of sand.