Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 6
Taking suo motu notice of Dadam mine landslide in Bhiwani, in which five workers were killed, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted an eight-member panel to ascertain the nature of violations and extent of damage caused to the environment. The incident took place at a mine allotted to Govardhan Mines and Minerals at Dadam hills on January 1.
Illegal mining was detected last year
- In Oct 2021, an NGT-formed panel had flagged illegal mining over 300 sq m in Aravalli area
- Mining pits were found to have been dug 109 m deep against the permissible depth of 78 m
- The panel had asked HSPCB to impose environmental costs and sought report based on satellite imagery
The committee will comprise representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Regional Office of Central Pollution Control Board, Chandigarh, National Disaster Management Authority, Directorate General of Mines Safety, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and District Magistrate, Bhiwani. The committee will look into issues of compensation paid and payable, safety precautions taken and required to be taken and steps to prevent recurrence of such happenings in future. The committee has got two months to furnish its report.
The NGT is already hearing a separate matter related to alleged illegal mining by Govardhan Mines and Minerals. Vide an order dated July 20, 2021, the Tribunal had observed that contradictory reports on illegal mining had been submitted by a committee led by the ADC and the forest, mining and groundwater departments.
While the ADC’s committee pointed out that the mining project had created illegal paths in the forest area and at the time of inspection, mining equipment was found in non-minable area, the other departments had given a clean chit to the firm.
The Tribunal had then ordered the constitution of an eight-member committee headed by Justice Pritam Pal (retd) to probe the matter.
Justice Pal, in the interim report dated October 13, 2021, concluded the project proponent had done illegal mining over 300 sq m in Aravalli plantation area (forest land).
It recommended to the HSPCB to impose environmental compensation of a suitable amount and to the forest department to recover the cost of stones mined illegally.
Mining pits were found 109 m deep against the permissible depth of 78 m. The committee concluded to determine the period of illegal mining, the Haryana Space Applications Centre, Hisar, will submit a report based on satellite imagery.
On damage to Dadam distributary, the committee asked the centre to submit the report regarding illegal mining in the portion where the depth of mining pit had gone down to 200-250 ft and the period during which the said mining was done.
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