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State green panel to give permission for mining: NGT

The move is aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring that sand mining permission is not given without a scientific study and without seeking objections from the general public, the petitioner of the case said.

noida Updated: Sep 27, 2018 04:04 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times, Noida
Noida,Mining,NGT
In Gautam Budh Nagar, the district level committee will no longer be able to give permissions for brick kilns and sand mining units on the floodplains of the Yamuna and Hindon.(HT File Photo)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday ordered that the state environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA) to give permission for mining (soil or sand or both) on plots measuring up to 5 hectares, quashing the central government’s January 15, 2016 directive that empowers a district-level committee to issue permission in respective districts.

The move is aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring that sand mining permission is not given without a scientific study and without seeking objections from the general public, the petitioner of the case said.

The ministry of environment, forest and climate change, in January 2016, had notified the minor mineral mining policy empowering the district environment assessment authority (DEIAA) to give permission for mining on smaller plots than 5 hectares. The government had come up with this policy to decentralise the process of granting permission for sand mining, a move that was objected to by environmentalists.

On September 28, 2016, the NGT issued a notice to the ministry in response to a plea filed by environmentalists, including Vikrant Tongad, a resident of Greater Noida, who objected to the amendment in the environment impact assessment notification 2006 that empowered district level committee to issue mining permissions.

“The ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF&CC) shall, therefore, take appropriate steps to revise the procedure laid down in the impugned notification dated 15th January, 2016 in terms of the above directions and observations so that it is in conformity with the letter and spirit of the directions passed by the Supreme Court in Deepak Kumar case,” said NGT order.

In Gautam Budh Nagar, the district level committee will no more be able to give permissions for brick kilns and sand mining units on the floodplains of the Yamuna and Hindon.

“As per the earlier order of the ministry, the district level committee did not even to seek objections from public before permissions were granted. Now, as per the September 15 order, the state environment impact assessment authority will issue permissions. The NGT has made it mandatory to seek public opinion before allotting plots of size 5-25 hectares,” Rahul Chaudhary, advocate for the petitioner, said.

The NGT has also stopped the practice of breaking a large plot into smaller ones to give permissions for mining.

“It was a practice that the bigger floodplain plots are be divided into small plots so that the district level committee could give permission. That was damaging the ecology. We welcome the NGT order as it will helps in protection of ecology,” Tongad said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 04:04 IST