Readers only offer: Get additional Rs 200 off on 'The Better Home' powerful natural cleaners. Shop Now
In Eco-Friendly Move, Govt Restricts Sand Mining Below 5ha Without Permission

In Eco-Friendly Move, Govt Restricts Sand Mining Below 5ha Without Permission

In a move that is good for the environment but not likely to be popular with the construction industry, the Environment Ministry has declared that it will be mandatory to take environment clearance (EC) from a district level authority in order to do sand and gravel mining in a lease area below five hectares as well.

In the present scenario, green approval is not required for sand mining below five hectares. This has led to illegal sand mining because of a tendency by miners to break leases into small sizes to avoid getting EC.

The new mandate, which follows a Supreme Court order, lays down guidelines that say no mining lease or renewal can be done without EC clearance regardless of size.

sand mining


On February 27, 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered that EC from the Environment and Forests Ministry was necessary for excavation of all minor minerals. It said: “Sand mining on either side of the rivers, upstream and in-stream, is one of the causes for environmental degradation and also a threat to biodiversity. Over the years, India’s rivers and riparian ecology have been badly affected by the alarming rate of unrestricted sand mining … .”

However, the Environment Ministry had pleaded before the Court to let state authorities give environmental clearance for less than 5-hectare plots. This will no longer be the case now.

The new guidelines say a District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA), headed by district collector or magistrate will appraise and grant the EC for sand and gravel mining in a lease area up to five hectares. This authority will also designate the river area that is suitable or prohibited for the mining.

This welcome move by the Government is likely to curb the rampant illegal sand mining prevalent particularly in states like Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar.

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us:, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

Let’s be friends :)
Sign in to get free benefits
  • Get positive news daily on email
  • Join our community of positive ambassadors
  • Become a part of the positive movement
Before you go...

We have a favor to ask.

Our teams put in a lot of effort to create the content you love at The Better India.

The Better Home is a range of safe and eco-friendly home cleaners by The Better India. We put out curated content on our Instagram account- green living hacks, green innovations, leading a no-tox life and heroes in the sustainability space.

It would help us if you can follow our Instagram handle and spread the word around.