Panel to seek more time from NGT on stone crushers’ closure

SOLAN: In the wake of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders, officials are having a tough time assessing the accurate distance of a stone crusher from a water body.

Panel to seek more time from NGT on stone crushers’ closure

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, December 31

In the wake of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders, officials are having a tough time assessing the accurate distance of a stone crusher from a water body.

The green tribunal, in its orders issued in October, had ordered the State Pollution Control Board to shut the operations of all stone crushers that are located within 100 m of a water body.

The NGT had said that such units were damaging the environment and violating the Environment (Protection) Act,1986.

Since a water body can be both perennial or non-perennial, a committee of experts comprising officials of the Pollution Control Board, a tehsildar and a mining officer, has been assessing all operational stone crushers in the state.

The task has, however, become a tedious exercise as officials are not clear from where such a distance should be measured. Though norms such as measuring the distance from the highest node of the stone crusher are applicable, in some cases it is not clear whether the distance should be measured from the edge of the water body or some other uniform criteria should be adopted.

This has made it difficult for the officials to complete the task within the stipulated time as assigned by the NGT. Field officials said more clarity was required on this matter and they would seek more time from the NGT for filing the action taken report.

Mining officer, Solan, Kulbhushan Kumar said 15 to 20 stone crushers could face closure according to the preliminary assessment in the district, though the final report was yet to be made.

In Sirmaur, four to five such units could be closed, but the final figure was yet to be worked out.

Board officials said in Kinnaur district, four stone crushers that were within the stipulated distance from perennial and non-perennial water bodies had been shut while in Kullu and Rampur, one stone crusher each had been ordered to be closed as these were located within 100 m from the water body.

A tedious exercise 

  • The NGT, in its orders issued recently, had ordered the State Pollution Control Board to shut the operations of all stone crushers that are located within 100 m of a water body. 
  • Since a water body can be both perennial or non-perennial, a committee of experts has been assessing all operational stone crushers in the state. However, officials are still not clear from where the distance of a stone crusher from a water body be measured. 

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