Name illegal sand miners: NGT
NOIDA: The Gautam Budh Nagar police department has been directed by National Green Tribunal to furnish by January 22 the complete list of persons who were plying vehicles that have been seized on charges of illegal sand mining.
The list has been demanded by the principal bench of the tribunal headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar after UP government submitted that it has so far arrested 120 people on charges of illegally mining sand from Yamuna riverbed. The bench expressed its dissatisfaction with UP government for merely producing drivers and helpers of seized vehicles in court as proof of its crackdown on mining mafia.
Activists in Noida have at the same time accused the state government of shielding the high and mighty within Samajwadi Party who are the real faces behind illegal sand mining syndicates in the district.
The tribunal has demanded the list of illegal mining operators in order to examine if people responsible for causing damage to the environment through indiscriminate mining can be made liable to pay compensation under the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The tribunal has taken this course of action after considering the fact that unauthorized sand mining going on in Gautam Budh Nagar for a considerable period has had its obvious adverse impacts on environment and ecology.
“In such circumstances, it will be necessary for the tribunal to examine what steps are needed to be taken for restoration and examining if a person responsible for such illegal mining are liable to pay compensation in terms of Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010,” says the order.
Further, the Gautam Budh Nagar SSP has been directed to personally appear in court to explain charges of alleged theft of over 2 lakh cubic metres of sand seized in the district. “He shall also produce complete list of owners of JVC bulldozers, tractors and trucks which were involved in these activities or were cause of other illegal mining,” the order further states.
The state government, meanwhile, informed the tribunal that at present no mining licence or lease is in force in the district, a fact corroborated by the mining and forest departments in the district. The government further told the tribunal that it would not grant any lease unless it is cleared by Union environment ministry or State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.