Perturbed over illegal sand mining on Yamuna floodplains despite a ban, the National Green Tribunal has asked the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to apprise it about the action they have taken against the violators.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the officers of Haryana and UP to file affidavit and inform it about the actual status of mining in Noida and Faridabad.
"We direct State of Haryana as well as State of Uttar Pradesh to file affidavits of senior most officers along with appropriate documents, photographs and action taken by any departments of the States themselves. The affidavit should be filed three days in advance to the next date hearing," the bench said.
The matter is listed for next hearing on February 24.
The green panel had earlier asked Environment Ministry about the quantum of illegal mining being carried out and its impact on ecology and environment of the Yamuna river bed.
"Were any JCBs seized by the state of Uttar Pradesh or Haryana or by any other Authority? The names and particulars of parties who have indulged in illegal mining, building of unit(s) using of JCBs and heavy machinery for mining. What is the age of bridge," the bench had asked the Ministry.
The NGT had also issued notices to four contactors to show cause to why action be not taken against them for indulging in sand mining.
On November 2 last year, the Tribunal had prohibited sand mining saying "no mining activity, both legal and illegal, should be carried out on the banks of river Yamuna" and also constituted a committee of senior officers of both states to file their status report on mining.
The green panel was hearing a plea alleging that some private firms were engaged in the activity and a temporary bridge was made on the river obstructing its natural flow.
NGT Bar Association, in its plea, had alleged that the land mafia was indulging in illegal sand mining on either side of banks of Yamuna at Gautam Budh Nagar area of Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad area of Haryana.