Published On: Thu, Oct 8th, 2015

Mining licences lottery: HC asks govt to reply in 2 weeks

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Nainital: The Uttarakhand high court on Tuesday asked the state government to submit its reply within two weeks on the efficacy of lottery system introduced in 2015 for allocation of mining licences in the hill state.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Pauri resident Rajesh Negi requesting a stay on the new allotment procedure through lottery and implementation of the old tender system.

State’s advocate general UK Uniyal said, “The court rejected their request to grant stay on the newly introduced lottery system.”

Earlier this year, the state government while framing the mining policy for the riverbeds of the state introduced lottery system to curb the alleged corruption. Mining leases were granted through auction by floating tenders.

The petitioners mentioned that the newly introduced system fails to provide fair chance to the bidders and hence promotes unfairness. “In the auction system, everybody got a fair chance for bidding but the new lottery system is like gambling, based on luck instead of merit,” the petitioner said.

Mining scheduled to start from October 1 in the Kumaon region, including the riverbeds of Gaula, Nandhaur and Kosi, is already delayed. Several measures are slated to be taken by the mining and forest departments, such as installation of CCTV cameras and electronic weighing machines at the gates, to prevent illegal mining and smuggling of sand and minerals during this season.

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