Illegal mining: Uttarakhand govt to report to Ramesh | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Illegal mining: Uttarakhand govt to report to Ramesh

After blaming the Uttarakhand government for death of Swami Nigamanand, environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday asked the state government to stop illegal mining immediately and inform the ministry.

delhi Updated: Jun 17, 2011 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent

After blaming the Uttarakhand government for death of Swami Nigamanand, environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday asked the state government to stop illegal mining immediately and inform the ministry.

In a strongly worded letter to Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, the environment minister said that the powers to stop illegal sand mining has been delegated to the state government which stop it immediately in Ganga riverbed in Haridwar.

“It is unfortunate that, in spite of my repeated requests, no effective steps appears to have been taken,” he said, while adding that media reports confirm that there has been inaction on part of the state government.

Putting another curb on the state government, the environment ministry issued a draft notification to declare 135 kms of river Bhagirathi, a tributary of river Ganga, from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi as ecologically sensitive area.

It would mean that no hydro power projects of more than 25 MW of power can be allowed on the river in future and extraction of water for industrial use. Other prohibited activities include stone quarrying, deforestation and allowing polluting industries near the river.

The state government had not heeded to the ministry’s earlier request to declare the zone as ecologically sensitive forcing it issue a draft notification. Under the notification the state government is also required to prepare zonal master plans clearly demarcating villages, forests, horticulture areas and water bodies around the two banks of the river.