The National Green Tribunal has summoned the District Magistrate of Gonda in Uttar Pradesh to apprise it about the status of illegal extraction of minor minerals in the city.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar noted that there were “serious” inconsistencies between the report submitted by the DM and that prepared by the members of a committee constituted by the green panel to probe the matter.
In a detailed judgement, the NGT had banned illegal extraction of minor minerals through mechanised mining in Gonda and Faizabad districts of Uttar Pradesh and ordered a probe into the unauthorised activities there.
“The counsel appearing for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change submits that there are serious discrepancies between the report submitted by the DM and the report prepared by the four members of the committee,” the bench said without elaborating.
“In light of the above the presence of DM is necessary. Let him appear before the tribunal positively, on the next date of hearing,” it said.
The matter is fixed for hearing on September 6.
The green panel had ordered that there should be no mining activity within 50 metres from the end of the railway track on Mankapur in Faizabad and 150 metres from railway or any other bridges.
The tribunal passed the judgement on the plea filed by Lok Sabha MP Kirti Vardhan Singh from Gonda who had written to it seeking ban on large-scale illegal sand mining going on in his constituency in Gonda and railway track on Mankapur in Faizabad.
The bench said that mechanical extraction of minor minerals in large quantity near the railway track was bound to endanger not only the environment and ecology of that area but also enhance the chances of collapsing of the track.
The green body had also directed the panel to investigate the role of former UP minister Vinod Kumar Singh and his brother Narendra Singh while conducting the probe and state whether they have any role in illegal mining activity or not.
It was also asked to report about the damage caused to the environment in the nearby villages, quantum of money required for restoration and also state the loss of revenue to the state government in terms of minerals and revenue within four weeks, the bench had said.