A bench, headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim, issued notices to the Union Environment Ministry, UP government, state pollution control board, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority and others while seeking their replies in two weeks.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Hamirpur resident Prem Singh Yadav alleging large scale unscientific sand mining in Ken and Betwa rivers in the districts of Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh in violation of the conditions prescribed in the environmental clearance (EC) as well as the mining lease deed.
The plea contended that although the people involved in sand mining have started obtaining permissions, the situation on the ground has not changed, as the project proponents are not complying with the conditions of the EC and the concerned authorities were not taking any action against any of the violators.
"One of the respondents is violating the conditions prescribed under the EC by carrying out in stream mining using heavy machinery (pockland) and conducting mining operations even during night hours which is strictly prohibited as per the conditions of the EC," the plea said.
Yadav, in his plea filed through advocates Rahul Choudhary and Meera Gopal, has sought directions to the UP State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to withdraw the EC granted to the private parties, named in the petition, for failure to comply with the EC conditions.
"Impose heavy penalty under polluter pays principle and as per Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, on the respondents for causing adverse and irreversible damage to the river environment and ecology," the plea said.
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