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HC notice to Himachal Govt over illegal mining in Solan, Bilaspur districts

The petitioners have alleged blatant, unscrupulous, illegal and unprecedented destruction of flora and fauna, habitat of wildlife and the water sources on account of highly unscientific and unhindered exploitation of minor minerals from Luhan Khad as a result of rampant illegal mining being carried out.

SNS | New Delhi |

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has issued a notice to the state government over an illegal mining case in Luhan Khad falling under the Solan and Bilaspur districts.

The notice has been issued to Principal Secretary Home, Principal Secretary (Industries), Director Industries, DC Solan and Bilaspur, SP Solan and Bilaspur, District Mining Officers Solan and Bilaspur, DFO Solan, State Geologist and private respondent M/s Naina Stone Crusher, in a matter pertaining to illegal, unscientific and uncontrolled exploitation of mining and mineral from Luhan Khad.

A division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, A A Sayed and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, passed this order on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Jog Raj and Tarsem Lal.

The petitioners have alleged blatant, unscrupulous, illegal and unprecedented destruction of flora and fauna, habitat of wildlife and the water sources on account of highly unscientific and unhindered exploitation of minor minerals from Luhan Khad as a result of rampant illegal mining being carried out.

The petitioners have further alleged that a certain portion of the aforementioned khad falling under District Solan and Bilaspur has been granted on lease by the state government for a period of five years in favour of M/s Naina Stone Crushers.

This lease has resulted in highly unscientific, ruthless and un-regulated extraction of the minor minerals by M/s Naina Stone Crusher. The excavation and extraction of mineral in the form of stones, sand and gravel (bajri) is being undertaken day in and day out with heavy earth moving machines, alleged the petitioners.

The bridge over Luhan khad is also in danger due to illegal mining and   motorable roads throughout the river bed have been created to undertake un-scientific, consistent and haphazard mining, which can also be termed as blatant plunder of resources throughout river beyond the limit of area subject matter of lease, they alleged.

Highly aggrieved by the illegal mining causing severe damage to the ecology and water resources leading to immense soil erosion and damage to flora and fauna, the petitioners have prayed to take immediate legal action against unscrupulous anti-social elements who are engaged in illegal and unscientific mining in the river Luhan khad falling under Districts Solan and Bilaspur.

The Court has directed the State Geologist to nominate an officer to visit the site and make a report in this regard and if it is found that any illegal mining is being carried out, the court will take appropriate action forthwith.

The respondents have been directed to file an affidavit on the next date of hearing on 19 October.