Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts and National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to take action against officials who tried to cover up illegal mining in Belgarh village of Yamunanagar district, Haryana.
Illegal mining has affected the flow of the Yamuna, the NGT noted. The order was in response to an application filed by Jahangir.
Star Mines was given a lease for undertaking mining in the area falling in Saharanpur district, but he is also undertaking illegal mining in Village Belgarh, the applicant stated.
A report was submitted before the NGT after inspecting the site May 12, 2022, by a team comprising authorities from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
No illegal mining was carried out by Star Mines in village Bailgarh, according to the report submitted by the team of Uttar Pradesh.
But the report submitted by the team from Haryana observed that the flow of the river has changed due to illegal mining. The quantum of mining cannot be ascertained, it added.
The NGT directed a joint committee to submit a report on steps to be taken for the preservation of ecology in and around the pilgrim tracks in the sensitive and biodiverse regions of Uttarakhand.
The ecology of the popular pilgrim places in Uttarakhand was compromised due to the exponential increase of pilgrims in the state, an application before the NGT said.
The number of pilgrims and tourists has drastically increased after the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in Kedarnath Dham, Hemkund Sahib, Gangotri Gomukh Dham and Yamunotri Dham, the application pointed out.
The total number of pilgrims reaching Uttarakhand’s Chardham as of June 11, 2022, was 1904,253, according to the Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee.
Mining of minor minerals cannot be undertaken without a replenishment study, the NGT said.
The NGT order was in response to an application filed by Raja Muzaffar Bhat, an activist from Srinagar.
Environmental clearance was granted to some mining projects without any replenishment study and thus violated the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 and Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020, the applicant stated.
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