MP high court extends stay on sand mining in Sardar Sarovar area

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: May 13, 2015 20:03 IST

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has extended the stay on all sand mining operations in the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) affected areas in the state till the next hearing on July 1.

The court, while hearing a petition by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), had earlier granted a stay on sand mining operations on May 6.

The court had also ordered the collectors of the affected Barwani and Dhar districts to present details like name of sand mine lessees, the date on which lease permissions were granted and the date on which the lands in question were vested in the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA).

The collectors, however, failed to present these details satisfactorily during a hearing on Tuesday, leading the court to again ask them to present the details by July 1.

Also, Justices Rajendra Menon and Moolchand Garg extended the stay on the mining activities, Medha Patkar, counsel for NBA, said.

In its petition, the NBA has alleged that rampant sand mining in the submergence area, which is illegal as the state mining department could not have granted leases in the SSP area once the acquired lands were vested in the NVDA.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the counsels of the state government said only the part of the acquired land in submergence areas were in ownership of the NVDA and thus mining permissions could be granted.

Patkar, however, contended that according to the Narmada Tribunal Award, all land acquired from the locals for the SSP were to be transferred to NVDA and thus the state government's argument was wrong.

The NBA also presented evidences showing despite a stay on sand mining operations by the HC on May 6, the digging and transport of sand continued in the area.

After hearing both sides, the division bench of the court asked the district collectors to present the details afresh according to the previous orders on March 26 and May 6.

The court also ordered the ministry of environment and forests, Narmada Control Authority and others to present their stand in the matter through affidavits.

Also, the NBA was asked to present further details and evidences of violations claimed.

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