Close on the heels of the crackdown on sand mining mafia by IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, a Central panel has found "rampant, unscientific and illegal" mining going on at various locations in the Gautam Budh Nagar District along the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh.
The 2010-batch IAS officer was suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government in the wake of the crackdown, sparking nation-wide outrage.
A three-member panel set up by Union Environment Ministry said it has found evidence of illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
The panel in its report submitted to Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today said, "In view of the observations of the Committee, existing legal frame work and the directions given by the various courts for mining of minor minerals it is evident that rampant, unscientific and illegal mining has been going on at various locations in the Gautam Budh Nagar District along the Yamuna River."
"This is in violation of the environmental regulations, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the directions given by the Supreme Court, High Court of Allahabad and NGT New Delhi," it says.
The report brings to light incidents of ecological violations in the area and has also given photographic evidence of the havoc caused by the illegal mining.
The committee headed by Saroj, a director in the Environment Ministry, was asked to enquire into adverse environmental impact of alleged illegal sand mining in the UP district.
The panel, in which deputy collector of mines of IBM Dehradun office G C Meena and director in the regional office of Environment Ministry in Lucknow K K Garg as members, was asked to submit its report this week.
The team was constituted following various reports highlighting the menace of alleged illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar. The Ministry says that "illegal mining has serious environmental and ecological repercussions."
Nagpal, the 28-year-old SDM (Sadar)of G B Nagar, who led the crackdown on sand mining mafia in her district, was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering demolition of an under-construction mosque's wall allegedly without following the due process. She was later chargesheeted and shifted to the Revenue Board.