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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Govt panel finds evidence of illegal sand mining: sources

PTI  New Delhi, August 09, 2013
First Published: 21:03 IST(9/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(9/8/2013)

A Committee set up by the environment ministry is understood to have found evidence of illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar district, where IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal was recently suspended for reportedly cracking down on it.

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A highly placed source, in the know of the content of the draft report prepared by the three-member panel, told PTI that the ministry team has secured evidence to establish the fact that illegal sand mining is happening in the Uttar Pradesh district.

The report brings to light incidents of ecological violations in the area, the source said, adding the final version of the report will be submitted to environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Monday.

The committee headed by Saroj, a director in the environment ministry, was asked to enquire into adverse environmental impact of alleged illegal sand mining in the UP district.

The panel, in which deputy collector of mines of IBM Dehradun office GC Meena and director in the regional office of environment ministry in Lucknow KK Garg as members, was asked to submit its report this week.

It is learnt to have ascertained the "factual position" about the allegations of illegal mining in the area.

The sources said that team has also suggested further course of action in the matter.

The team was constituted in wake of various reports highlighting the menace of alleged illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar. The ministry says that "illegal mining has serious environmental and ecological repercussions".

It had also referred to reports in print and electronic media with visuals of heavy machinery being used in illegal sand mining.

Nagpal, the 28-year-old SDM of GB Nagar, who led the crackdown on sand mining mafia in her district, was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering demolition of a mosque's wall allegedly without following the due process.

According to the ministry, no sand mining from any mining lease area can take place without obtaining prior environment clearance.

The environment ministry deals with the cases of environment clearance in respect of projects of mining of minor minerals with lease area equal to or above 50 hectare.


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