Real Estate

Supreme Court notice to Centre, CBI, 5 States on plea against illegal sand mining

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on July 24, 2019

The Supreme Court directed the Centre, the CBI and five States to respond to a plea that sought investigation into illegal sand mining and termination of leases of entities concerned.

A Bench headed by Justice SA Bobde initially asked the petitioner to approach the respective High Courts with his grievance but later issued notices to the Centre, the CBI and Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The plea has alleged that illegal sand mining across the country has damaged the environment.

During the hearing, the Bench told advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the petitioner M Alagarsamy, that they should move the High Court first.

“We want to have advantage of a High Court order so that we can decide it properly,” the Bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, said.

‘Environmental havoc’

Bhushan said that ‘environmental havoc’ has been created due to illegal sand mining and the authorities concerned have allowed entities to carry out mining without even the mandatory environmental plan and clearance.

“This (illegal sand mining) is a rampant problem across the country and it needs to be tackled,” Bhushan told the Bench.

In his plea filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, the petitioner highlighted the issue of illegal sand mining in rivers and beaches across the country.

It claimed that States have the onus of regulating sand mining but they have been unable to curb the illegal activities.

“Due to the lack of implementation of guidelines by the States, various sand mining scams have taken place across different parts of the country,” he said in the plea.

It added that the citizens’ right to life is being gravely affected as not only is the environment being adversely affected, but even the law and order situation has worsened.

It said the authorities should be directed that no environmental clearance would be accorded to any sand mining project without proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EiA), Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and public consultation as per the EIA notification of 2006.

Published on July 24, 2019

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