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Stop permits for sand mining,NGT tells U’khand

Environment and Forests or the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

Written by Kamala Kelkar | New Delhi | Published: September 6, 2013 1:24:28 am

A National Green Tribunal (NGT) judge on Thursday warned the Uttarakhand government to stop giving permission for sand mining after a resident claimed that the state is blatantly violating the court’s recent ban on it.

The application by Dehradun’s Khush Naseeb Khan claims the state,vulnerable after this year’s calamitous floods,is allowing large-scale mining for reconstruction,further degrading the land. Khan also alleged the sand is openly sold in markets. The NGT on August 5 had re-enforced a 2012 Supreme Court judgement stating that mining of minerals,including sand,must get clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests or the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

“I’ll hold you in contempt. Let that be clear,” Justice Swatanter Kumar told the counsel representing Uttarakhand. “Please do not issue any more permits.”

Khan’s application,represented by advocate Ajit Sharma,was one of three brought up before the Tribunal Thursday.

Sharma said Uttarakhand has issued notices that lift its own ban on mining during monsoon to allow people to reconstruct what was destroyed during the floods.

“The state’s intention may be good,but they have not considered the environmental impacts. If you extract sand during the rainy season,it causes damage to rivers and more floods,” Sharma said.

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