Bihar to save hills from stone chips mafia: CM

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said his government was irrevocably committed to protect the hills and illegal mining would not be tolerated.

Replying to a special debate on illegal mining in Rohtas district in the state assembly, Kumar said the government would also not issue fresh licence for mining activities.

"We have also decided not to renew old licences", the CM said.

Kumar said it was matter of serious concern that the stone chips mafia had started damaging the hills and so the state government had decided not to allow using of hills for mining.

"The debate in the assembly has given a clear cut message that no person involved in illegal mining will enjoy patronage of any political party", he said.

The Chief Minister said, "Hills are the treasure of the state and illegal mining in the caves of the hills in Rajgir and Brabar had adverse impact".

Kumar said the hills in Rajgir are 18 crore years old.

The CM said the state government had constituted an inter-departmental committee led by development commissioner to review the laws related to mining.

The committee would frame laws in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, Indian Mine Bureau (IMB) and central forest and environment ministry.

The inter-departmental committee also have state mine and geology department principal secretary, forest and environment secretary, principal forest conservator, water resources besides director general of mines, tourism secretary and a GSI official as its members.