New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal hasslammed the Haryana government over illegal sand mining and extraction of minerals on the floodplains of Yamuna in the state and directed it to submit a report on the violations and action it has taken to check them.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Manohar Lal Khattar government to inform it about the total number of illegal mining cases filed till Thursday and the action taken against violators. “State of Haryana is directed to file Status Report in relation to carrying on mining activity… They will state the mining permitted; methodology for mining; the total quantity extracted; safeguard adopted and the manner in which the illegal mining is controlled and the cases of illegal mining that are traced by the State Government,” the bench said.
The matter is listed for next hearing on August 4. On February 18, the NGT had cracked the whip on illegal sand mining and extraction of minor minerals in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh while slapping a fine of Rs 50 crore on five lease holders for carrying out excessive unauthorised mining resulting in damage and degradation of environment. The green panel had also imposed a complete prohibition on stone crushers and mining of minor minerals like bajri (gravel) and boulders in Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts and other villages situated on the floodplains of Yamuna.
It had also imposed an environmental compensation of Rs 2.5 crore on Saharanpur-based stone crusher for “illegally” operating stone crushing units without obtaining consent from the state pollution control board. The directions came during hearing of a plea by environment activists Gurpreet Singh Bagga and others who had moved NGT against rampant illegal mining of minor minerals in Saharanpur and the riverbed of Yamuna. According to the applicants, “a handful of mining lease holders were treating the entire district as mining area irrespective of what is mentioned in their mining permit and the environmental clearance”. PTI
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