‘Reckless’ mining in Neugal, stone-crusher owner served notice : The Tribune India

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‘Reckless’ mining in Neugal, stone-crusher owner served notice

Residents hold protest over mud flowing into river

‘Reckless’ mining in Neugal, stone-crusher owner served notice

The Neugal river near Thural. Tribune photo



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, March 22

The Pollution Control Board on Friday issued a show-cause notice to the owner of a stone crusher near Thural over allegedly polluting the Neugal river due to “reckless” and “illegal mining” in the river.

Earlier in the day, residents of Thural lodged a protest against the mud and muck, which are flowing into the river due to deep trenches. These are allegedly being dug up in the river by the owner of the stone crusher for extracting sand and stones.

Later, a video related to this practice went viral on social media. When the matter came to the notice of Varun Gupta, district head, State Pollution Control Board, Kangra, he immediately took action and issued the notice.

Many stone crushers are polluting local rivulets and other tributaries of the Beas, which are a major source of drinking water in Kangra. Despite the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the state government to shut all stone crushers polluting the water bodies, the government is yet to take action against these.

As per the NGT guidelines issued in 2021, a stone crusher set up within 100 metres of a rivulet would be illegal and in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which aims to protect the ecology of water bodies. Several stone crushers in Jaisinghpur and Thural are functioning on the banks of rivers and rivulets. Their effluents are polluting these water bodies.

Locals environmentalists Ashwani Gautam, Varun Bhuria, SK Sharma, panchayat pardhans Seema and Sat Pal accused state agencies of adopting lackadaisical attitude towards the defaulters. They say due to illegal sand extraction from local rivulets, wetlands are shrinking, leading to drinking water crises in the region.

#Environment #Illegal Mining #Palampur #Pollution


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