NGT bans mining activities within 10 km of Sariska tiger reserve
The National Green Tribunal has directed all mining activities within 10-km radius of Sariska tiger reserve be stopped immediately. The order was issued when it was hearing an appeal challenging environmental clearance to 24 mining projects with 10 km radius of the reserve’s boundary.Updated: Dec 22, 2018 23:54 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all mining activities within 10 km radius of the Sariska Tiger Reserve be stopped immediately.
The order was issued when the tribunal was hearing an appeal challenging environmental clearance granted to 24 mining projects with 10 km radius of the reserve’s boundary.
“We direct that all mining activities of any mineral will be stopped within 10 kms of the boundary of Sariska Tiger Reserve till mining leases are cleared by the standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL),” the NGT bench said in its order issued on December 20.
The Supreme Court had in 2006, prohibited any mining activity within 1 km of national parks and sanctuaries.
Following the apex court order, the Union environment ministry had also stipulated in their memorandum dated December 2, 2009 that all cases where environmental clearance had been given to mining projects around national parks be placed before the Standing Committee of the NBWL for evaluation.
Moreover, Rajasthan is yet declare an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) for Sariska Tiger Reserve.
The lawyer representing Rajasthan government had submitted to NGT that Rajasthan’s ESZ proposal is still pending with the environment ministry.
“In case MoEFCC issues final notification on eco-sensitive zone (ESZ), the mining lease which fall within the Eco-Sensitive Zone will have to have clearance of the standing committee of the NBWL,” the National Green Tribunal bench added.
The state-level environment impact assessment authority (SEAC), Rajasthan and district-level environment impact assessment authority (DEIAA), Alwar had together issued 70 mining clearances in 2016 out of which 24 were in the 10 km radius of Sariska reserve.
“Mining activities in proximity of wildlife habitats have negative impacts on the wild animals. Those activities fragment habitats and movement corridors. Therefore, it is important to add adequate buffer to the wildlife habitats which can be in the form of ESZ,” said Dipankar Ghose, director, species and landscape at WWF, India.
First Published: Dec 22, 2018 23:54 IST