The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which will prepare a report after inspecting illegal mining along the Narmada River in Narsingpur district in Madhya Pradesh.
The two-member bench comprising Justice Dalip Singh, a judicial member, and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal, an expert member, gave these directions while hearing a case filed by social activist Vinayak Parihar. The order was given on Monday but its copy was made available on Tuesday.
Authorised to find out “whether leased areas have been marked on ground, whether mining is confined by authorised mining lease holders, and whether there is any evidence of sand mining operations being carried out outside the marked areas”, the SIT has been directed by the green body to submit its report by May 20.
The next hearing in the case will be on May 23.
The tribunal in its order said the SIT will comprise the district collector of Narsingpur or a senior officer deputed by him, superintended of police (SP) or an officer deputed by him, the district mining officer and the regional officer of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
The tribunal said according to photographs submitted by the petitioner, it had been alleged that illegal mining by unauthorised persons was being carried out along the Narmada river in Narsingpur district in violation of the environmental clearance (EC) conditions.
The green body said it had been alleged that mining was being carried out from submergence area by making a road in the submerged area.
In its order, the tribunal stated that the SIT will investigate the issues that include extent of damage to local environment, identifying names and addresses of persons responsible for carrying out illegal mining or mining operation beyond the leased area, identifying and corroborating allegations made with regard to the mining operations being carried out by mechanised means including the use of JCBs and Pocklain machines.
The SIT has also been asked to find out whether the state mining corporation took any action against the defaulting parties.
The bench also stated that as this case involved sand mining in 2015, a ban had been imposed on river sand mining during the monsoon period last year. In this context, the tribunal directed the state government to submit its policy with regard to a ban of river sand mining during monsoon.
Deploy cops to protect Gharials
The NGT directed the state government on Tuesday to identify vulnerable spots and deploy police along the Son Gharial Sanctuary area in Sidhi district. The directive comes only days after two gharials were killed by sand mafia in Singrauli district recently. A two-member central bench, comprising justice
Dalip Singh and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal, directed the state government to take all appropriate steps to ensure safety and survival of Gharials in the sanctuary while hearing a case filed by Nityanand Mishra. The case would be heard next on August 2.