Shiv Kumar Sharma
Tribune News Service
Yamunanagar, February 28
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned mining of minor minerals in the flood plain of the Yamuna in Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts for 45 days.
“For the same period, no screening plant and stone crusher will be permitted to operate in the entire districts of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Yamunanagar in Haryana,” said Swatanter Kumar, chairperson, NGT, in his decision delivered on February 18.
The NGT’s decision came after the hearing of various complaints alleging that illegal mining had been going on in the Yamuna area in Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts, posing a serious threat to environment and people due to flood.
Taking quick action, the authorities of the Pollution Control Board have stopped the operation of stone crushers and screening plants in Yamunanagar district.
“The owners of all 69 stone crushers (which were functional out of the total 126) and three screening plants have submitted affidavits swearing not to operate their crushers and screening plants during this period. We are also keeping strict vigil, so that no one violates the order of the NGT,” said Sanjeev Bhudhiraja, regional officer, State Pollution Control Board, Yamunanagar.
Besides, the NGT also constituted a high powered committee under the chairmanship of the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to submit a report to the tribunal in this regard.
The NGT also directed Haryana and Punjab to submit a complete and comprehensive mining plan in consonance with the Act of 1957, Rules of 1960, the provisions of the Rules of 1963, Rules of 2012 and notification of 2006 to the high powered committee in two weeks from the date of the judgment.
“It should also provide a complete mechanism for establishing checkposts to ensure that there is no illegal transportation of mined minerals in these areas. No overloading should be permitted,” reads NGT order.
The order further states, “During these 45 days, if any person is found violating the orders, he would be liable to pay Rs 5 lakh as environmental compensation for each such event. The vehicles, machines/ plants used for the purpose in violation to the order of the tribunal will be liable to be seized.”
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