Environment Ministry panel finds illegal sand mining in U.P.

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

In the aftermath of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal cracking down on the sand mining mafia in Uttar Pradesh, a committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has found large-scale illegal sand mining activity in Gautam Budh Nagar district.

The three-member committee’s report notes that there is evidence that “rampant, unscientific and illegal mining has been going on at various locations in the Gautam Budh Nagar District along the Yamuna river.”

Nagpal’s move against the sand mining mafia, and her subsequent suspension, ostensibly for razing a mosque wall, has created a major political storm in U.P.

“According to the directions given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on February 27, 2012, all State Governments need to frame Minor Mineral Concession Rules within a period of six months and submit their compliance report,” the panel report says.

Along the lines of the National Green Tribunal’s order early this week, the report, submitted to Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Saturday, also recommends “prior environmental clearance is mandatory from MoEF/SEIAA irrespective of the mine lease area.”

It also recommends an annual “replenishment study” from a recognised institution so that if sand replenishment in the mined area is low, further mining activity can be decreased or stopped altogether.

It further adds that regular monitoring of mining activity is required “to ensure that effective compliance of stipulated environmental conditions and are abiding to the Minor Mineral Concession Rules of the State Government.”

Published on August 11, 2013

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