Taking serious note of sand mines auctioned and renewal in district Betul, MP high court on Monday directed the State Mining department and the Betul Collector to look into the issue.
Fifteen sand mines were auctioned by the Betul collector through orders of January 16, 2013 and March 21, 2013 while five sand mines were renewed on April 26, 2013.
A villager of Ghodadongri, Tarun Mandal filed a PIL claiming no prior mandatory permission from the village panchayats were taken for mining where the sand mines are situated before auction and renewal.
The villages, where the sand mines are located, fall in the category of 5th Scheduled Area where the provision of Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act 1996 is applicable. So no mining activity could be carried without permission of the panchayats.
Even no prior environmental compliance, as required under Madhya Pradesh Minor Mineral Rules 1996, was sought. The state government guidelines too were violated regarding prior environmental impact assessment before issuance of working orders of minor minerals mines to the firms.
The sand mines are situated in Amla, Ghodadongri, Kodaroti, Harniya, Uchagohan, Kumhariya, Chanspur, Shahpur, Daudi, Shivsagar, Naandu, Amdhana, Satalijhiri and Ratamati villages of district Betul.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice KK Lahoti and Justice S Kakde issued the directive after hearing the petitioner’s counsel Raghvendra Kumar during preliminary hearing of the PIL.