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No sand mining sans permission: India's green tribunal

Aug 05, 2013

Sand mining will only be allowed from any river after due permission from the State Environment Impact authority, stated India’s National Green Tribunal.

India’s National Green Tribunal on Monday banned sand mining without any licence or environmental clearance from river beds across the country. This decision comes in response to a plea which alleged that that such activities were going on in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with the ‘connivance’ of the state machinery.

The petition alleged that those who have opposed such sand mining, including field level officers, like suspended SDM Durga Sakhti Nagpal, have been victimised which is also apparent from various news reports.

Widening the ambit of the plea, a bench headed by Chairperson of the Tribunal, Justice Swatanter Kumar, said its order would be applicable across the nation as the petition raises substantial environmental issues.

Initially, the bench restrained illegal sand mining on the beds and banks of rivers Yamuna, Ganga, Hindon, Chambal, Gomti, amongst others, but later modified its order saying the issue of illegally removing sand has nationwide implications.

The tribunal also directed all the mining officers and concerned police authorities of all the states to ensure compliance of its orders, on the plea filed by the National Green Tribunal Bar Association. It also issued notice to all respondents seeking their response by August 14.

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