NGT: Action wanting in Yamunanagar illegal mining : The Tribune India

NGT: Action wanting in Yamunanagar illegal mining

Review monitoring mechanism, tribunal tells CS

NGT: Action wanting in Yamunanagar illegal mining

Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, May 19

After finding action taken in a case of “large-scale illegal mining” in Yamunanagar as “inadequate and not expeditious”, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal to review the monitoring mechanism to prevent illegal mining for effective action against any violations at different levels.

In Galauri village of Yamunanagar, an NGT panel had earlier submitted that illegal mining pits of 22.1 hectares existed close to the contracted mining lease area of M/s Kanwaljeet Singh Batra in village Galauri, Sadhaura, Yamunanagar. Out of these, 11.2 hectares of mining pits were found adjacent to the contracted mining area while the rest of the 11 hectares were in its vicinity.

Within the contracted area too, 6.4 hectares was found illegally mined. Here, the mineral extraction was up to 10m of depth when the permissible depth was 9m.

The panel told the NGT that the total mining minerals illegally extracted calculated by the Mines and Geology Department for 28.10 hectares (including contracted and nearby areas) was 37.57 lakh MT. However, for not having proof of direct indulgence of the lessee in the illegal mining of over 11 hectares, a penalty of Rs 21.17 crore was imposed on the unit vide an order dated June 30, 2021.

The contractor was supposed to plant 3,450 trees over a five-year span, but only 525 recently planted poplar plants were found in the nearby area.

M/s Kanwaljeet Singh Batra started the mining operation on August 8, 2017, but Mines and Geology Department noticed the illegal mining over 22.1 hectares only on March 9, 2021.

“This situation is dubious as how for such a long period such huge illegal mining and mineral extraction remain unnoticed and non-reported by the Mines and Geology Department,” said the NGT panel.

The NGT, in its order dated May 12, said, “In spite of finding in the inquiry report dated June 30, 2021 (almost one year back), and appellate order dated February 24, 2022, even the amount of interim penalty of Rs 5 crore has not been recovered, though the inquiry officer had found the liability of the lessee to be more than Rs 40 crore towards royalty price and penalty, which may now increase, with the addition of liability for the violation of environmental norms.”

The NGT order also said that Principal Secretary, Mines and Geology, “may personally monitor further action in the present case, including coordination with the investigation of the criminal case”.

ONLY 525 of 3,450 trees planted

The contractor was supposed to plant 3,450 trees over a five-year span, but only 525 recently planted poplar plants were found in the nearby area.

#illegal mining #NGT

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