NGT bans sand mining in Tamil Nadu, Kerala
press trust of india
New Delhi, 14 August
The Uttar Pradesh government today reluctantly admitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that illegal sand mining was going on in the state with not even a single environmental clearance granted for it in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
A five-member Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Gautam Budh Nagar to personally appear before it on 29 August to show cause why appropriate action be not taken against them for not checking illegal sand mining.
"From the documents before us, it is evidently clear that indiscriminate sand mining is going on in Gautam Budh Nagar in Noida. We would have expected the Deputy Commissioner and SP to comply with the Tribunal’s 5 August order and the Supreme Court’s earlier order but both have failed miserably.
“Let them personally appear before us on the next date of hearing i.e. 29 August,” the Bench said.
After an hour-long hearing, it also granted liberty to any advocate of the tribunal or any public person to bring out the names of people carrying out illegal mining. At the beginning, the counsel had denied the allegations of illegal mining saying "there is no illegal sand mining in the state after the tribunal’s 5 August order".
Miffed at the counsel persistently denying the allegations, the Bench cited recent media reports and wanted to know from the woman advocate whether those reports were incorrect or irresponsible.
At this point, the counsel accepted and made a statement that there is illegal sand mining going on in the state without any clearance.
Meanwhile, the tribunal also banned beach sand mineral mining in Tamil Nadu and Kerala after senior advocate Mr Raj Panjwani, appearing for NGT Bar Association which had filed the petition, apprised it about unauthorised mining on the beaches of the two states.
The tribunal also directed the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to file personal affidavits on 29 August on the averments.
It had earlier issued notices to all the states seeking their replies on a petition contending that rampant illegal mining and transportation of lakhs of tonnes of sand are being carried out every year, causing loss of lakhs of crores of rupees to the state exchequer.