And whereas the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration had drawn attention of the Central Government to the difficulties being faced by the local people due to restrictions on withdrawal of ground water and prohibition of mining of sand in the Coastal Regulation Zone in the said territory;
And whereas these issues have been examined by the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and obtained the views of experts in the matter;
And whereas the Central Government is of the opinion that the said notification should be amended;
And whereas sub-rule 4 of rule (5) of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986 provides that, "Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (3), whenever it appears to the Central Government that it is in public interest to do so, it may dispense with the requirement of notice under clause (a) of sub-rule (3);
And whereas the Central Government is of the opinion that it is in public interest to dispense with the requirement of notice under clause (a) sub-rule (3) of rule 5 for amending the said notification;
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and clause (v) of sub-section (2) of the section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) read with sub-rules (3) and (4) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendments in the aforesaid notification:-
"Provided that in the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, drawal of ground water can be permitted from specific sites if no other source of water is available and when done manually through ordinary wells or hand pumps, with the approval of Secretary, Department of Environment, Andaman and Nicobar Administration on a case to case basis, within 50 to 200 m from High Tide Line for local inhabitants for drinking purposes only".
(b) in sub-paragraph (x), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-
"Provided that in the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, mining of sands may be permitted by the Committee which shall be constituted by the Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands consisting of Chief Secretary; Department of Environment; Secretary, Department of Water Resources and Secretary Public Works Department. Committee may permit mining of sand from non-degraded areas for construction purposes from selected sites, in a regulated manner on a case to case basis, for a period upto the 31st day of March, 1998. The quantity of sand mined shall not exceed the essential requirements for completion of construction works including dwelling units, shops in respect of current year and 1997-98 annual plans. The permission of mining of sand may be given on the basis of a mining plan from such sites and in such quantity which shall not have adverse impacts on the environment."
(2) ln the said notification, in Annexure-I, in heading CRZ-IV Andaman & Nicobar Islands for item (iv), the following shall be substituted, namely:-
(b) sand may be used from the beaches and coastal waters, only for construction purpose upto the 31st day of March, 1998 and thereafter it shall not be used for construction and other purposes."
R. H. KHWAJA, Jt. Secy.