NGT panel led by ex-judge to probe illegal mining in Swan : The Tribune India

NGT panel led by ex-judge to probe illegal mining in Swan

NGT panel led by ex-judge to probe illegal mining in Swan

The NGT order has come on a complaint by an Una resident. file



Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, March 9

The National Green Tribunal has constituted an independent five-member committee headed by Justice Jasbir Singh, former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, to probe alleged illegal mining in the Swan riverbed in Himachal Pradesh’s Una.

'Illegal’ quarrying

  • Justice Jasbir Singh, retired judge, will head the 5-member panel
  • The petition alleging illegal mining was filed by an Una resident

The panel will also comprise regional officers of the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Central Soil and Water Conversation Research Institute (Dehradun) and the Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla.

A three-member NGT Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Sheo Kumar Singh and expert member Nagin Nanda issued the order on a complaint filed by an Una resident, Amandeep.

The NGT has directed the committee to visit the site to prepare an independent report on “illegal” mining.

In his petition, Amandeep stated that the Centre had sanctioned Rs 922 crore for channelisation of the river. Seventythree ‘khuds’ (mini water channels) too were channelised as part of the project to save agricultural land from flooding in rainy season.

“The sand mafia, enjoying political patronage, under the garb of mining licence has been lifting sand and gravel from the riverbed in an unscientific manner, thus defeating the purpose of channelisation. Overloaded trucks are damaging link roads, causing pollution and putting the locals at inconvenience,” he claimed. The mining, he alleged, may even cause damage to bridges over the Swan.

The NGT has also directed the state environment secretary, pollution control board and the Una District Magistrate to take remedial steps to control the menace of sand mining after verifying the facts stated in the application.

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