Srinagar, Nov 5: A recent government report has shed light on the significant challenges faced by the Geology and Mining Department in Jammu and Kashmir.
The report highlights an acute shortage of technical human resources, supervisory staff, and mineral guards, which has severely impacted the department’s ability to monitor mining activities.
Additionally, the department is found lacking in proper infrastructure and up-to-date scientific equipment.
The report, which offers a comprehensive analysis of the Geology and Mining Department, paints a mixed picture of its capabilities and constraints.
On one hand, the department possesses a substantial reserve of industrial mineral deposits, promising significant potential for economic growth and job creation. On the other hand, illegal mining activities have emerged as a significant threat to the region’s mineral resources.
One of the strengths identified by the government’s analysis is the presence of highly qualified technical staff within the department.
Furthermore, the UT boasts extensive land available for mineral exploration. “There is a huge scope for the establishment of Mineral-Based Industries in J&K,” the report reads.
In a notable achievement, the department successfully e-auctioned 387 Minor Mineral Blocks during the year 2020-21, issuing 380 Letters of Intent to the winning bidders based on the recommendations of the concerned Deputy Commissioners.
In addition, the Department of Geology and Mining has granted 208 Mining Leases for e-auctioned Minor Mineral Blocks, including 8 to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Moreover, the department has issued nine Quarry Licenses and over 700 Short-Term Permits/Disposal Permits to date.
The report further reveals that the department has identified 67 newly carved-out mineral blocks in the UT, with 14 of them already approved by the Administrative Department, set to enter the final stage for e-auction.
Despite the shortage of technical staff and the threat of illegal mining, the government has set ambitious targets as envisioned in the Government’s Vision Document 2047.
The department aims to conduct extensive and intensive exploration, employing state-of-the-art technology to create a comprehensive database related to mineral resources and mining activities in the state. This vision underscores the UT’s commitment to scientific, sustainable, and transparent mining practices.
To achieve optimal utilisation of mineral resources, the department plans to conduct techno-economic feasibility studies and promote mineral entrepreneurship through the e-auction process and mineral concessions under established rules.