The Rajasthan government has granted environmental clearance to 12 mines in Bansi Paharpur area of Bharatpur district for the supply of pink sandstone to Ayodhya for the construction of Ram Temple, officials said.
Green clearance for another set of 12 mines is expected to be approved by mid-July, they added.
In November-December last year, the state mines department had auctioned 41 mining plots in Bansi Paharpur area for pink sandstones which are preferred for the construction of Ayodhya temple.
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“Twelve mining leaseholders can start mining by the end of May. The rest are expected to get green clearance by the end of this month or the first half of July,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Mines) Subodh Agrawal.
With the issuance of the green permit, the stones from these mines will now be legally available for other areas and the mining activity will generate direct and indirect employment, Agrawal said.
In March last year, Blocks A and B of Bansi Paharpur, Sukhasila and Kot areas were excluded from Bandh Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary for mining activities. Three months later, the Union Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change approved the diversion of forest land for sandstone quarrying in Bansi Paharpur.
The State Department of Mines subsequently started preparing mining blocks at Bansi Paharpur and started preparations for their auction.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has called for efforts to control illegal mining in the Bansi Paharpur region, Agrawal said.
Mine tenants in these areas said they were approached by people involved in building the Temple of Ram for the sandstone.
“I have three mines in the area and I was contacted recently by people involved in the construction of the Ayodhya temple. However, things are on hold until mining operations start after signing an agreement with the government and getting clearance from the pollution control department,” said Bansi mine owner Deepraj Singh. Paharpur.
An official from the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which is overseeing the massive project, said 4.70 lakh cubic feet of pink stone is needed for the construction of the temple, but only 70,000 cubic feet have reached Ayodhya so far. now.
However, with environmental approvals from the Rajasthan government, a steady supply of pink stone is expected to speed up construction of the temple, the officer said on condition of anonymity.
While the first batch of pink sandstone from Bandi Paharpur arrived in Ayodhya on April 5, most of it was quarried illegally. The sandstone will be used for the walls of the Temple of Ram once plinth work is completed by the end of June, Anil Mishra, one of the trustees, said in April.