The Maharashtra state cabinet on 23 October 2013 decided to implement new mining rules. The new rules are aimed at ensuring planned and scientific exploitation of the state's mineral wealth. New mining norms according to the Maharashtra Minor Minerals (Development and Regulation) Rules 2013, would ensure checks in the mining of minor minerals such as sand, stones, gravel and clay, which are used in construction and other sectors.
Earlier, the state revenue department used to permit mining of minor minerals by private players in areas of less than five hectares. However, in its judgment of February 2012, the Supreme Court had made environmental clearances mandatory for mining minor minerals, including sand from river beds, even in areas less than five hectares.
The Supreme Court ruling had made clarifications that sand mining either on river banks, upstream or instream, needed monitoring and regulatory oversight, because these cause environmental degradation and threat to biodiversity. After this clarification, mining process completely stopped across the country, including Maharashtra.
When: 23 October 2013