The central bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the Madhya Pradesh government to ban movement of trucks and heavy vehicles illegally ferrying sand from the Son River in the Sidhi district.
The directive came after the bench was provided with photographic evidence of the same by the counsel of activist Nityanand Mishra, the petitioner.
The green tribunal maintained that imposing a ban on the vehicles should be considered in terms of the provision of Criminal Procedure Code in notified areas along the river.
The two-member bench comprising of judicial member Justice Dalip Singh and expert member Ranjan Chatterjee gave the order and fixed April 23 as the next date of hearing in the case.
The tribunal in its order stated that the MP government should consider constituting forest management committees so that communities residing in the area can be made stake holders.
"We feel that there can be certain welfare committees of the villagers residing near the Son River banks for cultivation and farming of vegetables during the lean period which would create stakes for the adjoining villagers and surely would be able to render assistance to the district administration for preventing illegal mining", the bench said in its order.
The NGT also directed the collector, superintendent of police and state home department to submit their response on the issue.
Moreover, as the 42 sq km stretch along the Son River bank in the district is within the Son Ghariyal Sanctuary premises and is a notified area, the tribunal feels the administration can easily ban movement of trucks in the area.
The green tribunal in its order also noted that in Madhya Pradesh "even the police personnel are not spared by the mining mafia".
Responding to the bench, the state’s counsel stated that the response of the government would be submitted in terms of what steps it had taken to curb the menace in the area and sought time.