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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Catch big fish in sand trade, NGT tells UP

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 23, 2013
First Published: 16:17 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:34 IST(24/8/2013)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to show by August 29 definitive action in checking illegal sand mining.

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In case this does not happen, the tribunal said government officials “will have a tough time.” 

“Show us definitive results about how many people have been sent to jail. The number of heavy mining machinery seized, damages imposed upon those engaged in sand mining without clearance, etc. Do not bring to us people who are mining in small quantities. We want to know what action has been taken against the big people/miners," the tribunal said.

The NGT was reacting to a report filed by the UP government. The tribunal also rejected the UP government's plea for exempting its officials -- the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police of Gautam Budh Nagar -- from personal appearance before the NGT on August 29.

The tribunal had on August 14 asked the two to explain why they should not face action for failing to check illegal sand mining from the Yamuna river in Noida and Greater Noida.

The order had come a fortnight after the UP government suspended Durga Shakti Nagpal, a sub-divisional magistrate in Gautam Budh Nagar district. The action has led to a major controversy because the young IAS officer had taken on illegal sand mining business.

The NGT had on August 5 banned sand mining from rivers across states without requisite approvals. The Supreme Court had last year passed a similar order.

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