Mining without environmental clearance: HC notice to Punjab, Centre on plea seeking action against officials

Updated on Nov 26, 2021 02:43 AM IST

The high court bench comprising justice MSR Rao and justice Jasjit Singh Bedi has sought a response by December 17

The plea demands that Centre directs Punjab government to initiate action against the department officials concerned for allowing mining through a contract awarded in 2019, even though no environmental clearance was given for the site in question. (HT File Photo)
The plea demands that Centre directs Punjab government to initiate action against the department officials concerned for allowing mining through a contract awarded in 2019, even though no environmental clearance was given for the site in question. (HT File Photo)
By, Chandigarh

The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought response from Punjab government and the Centre on a plea alleging that a mining contract was awarded to a private person in Ropar without getting environmental clearance.

The high court bench comprising justice MSR Rao and justice Jasjit Singh Bedi has sought a response by December 17. The plea demands that Centre directs Punjab government to initiate action against the department officials concerned for allowing mining through a contract awarded in 2019, even though no environmental clearance was given for the site in question.

The plea further presses for an enquiry conducted by an Independent Agency in view of the state’s connivance with the private contractor. It also demands that the contract be declared illegal.

The plea was filed by Bachittar Singh, who runs a stone crushing unit in Ropar, claiming that he is directly aggrieved by the government’s action as he has no option but to buy raw material from him even as mining is being carried out illegally.

The plea states that a March 2020 report from a chief judicial magistrate established the fact that the contractor in question has put up illegal check nakas.

The high court ordered a preliminary probe, which was carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation. But with the Punjab government promising action, no further proceedings were ordered by the court.

The plea, however, cited the Pollution Control Board’s recent objections on the present site, saying that it proved that no environmental clearance was given.

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