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NGT restrains Centre, Orissa from granting new mining leases in Keonjhar

The NGT wanted to know from the government whether the companies operating in the district were adhering to environmental laws of the land.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | October 31, 2014 1:38:05 am

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Centre and the Orissa government not to grant any fresh permission for mining and expansion of existing mines in Keonjhar district in the state due to pollution of drinking water.

A three-member bench of the NGT, headed by Justice P Jyothimani, issued the interim order while conducting a hearing on a petition filed by Rahul Kumar Agarwal alleging environmental pollution in the district due to mining activities by companies like Serajuddin and Co, Rungta Mines, Essel Mining & Industries, Tata Steel and Triveni Earthmovers.

“Considering the seriousness of the issues involved in this case, there is pollution of drinking water to a large extent and even animals like elephants are dying as it is seen in the newspaper reports produced by the applicant, we are prima facie satisfied that there should be an interim order in the interest of preserving environment and ecology of the area. Accordingly, while admitting the application, we direct respondent Nos. 1 to 6 (Centre and others) not to grant any new permission or expansion of the existing mining activity for further mining of iron ore or beneficiation plant,” the bench said in its order on October 28.

The NGT wanted to know from the government whether the companies operating in the district were adhering to environmental laws of the land.

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