National Green Tribunal asks UP to show results on sand mining ban

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NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Friday directed UP government to show by August 29 “definitive results” of the action taken by it to ensure implementation the tribunal’s order banning illegal sand mining in rivers beds, else be ready for “tough time”.

“Better show us some result that you (UP) mean business, else your officials will have a tough time. Show us definitive results about how many people have been sent to jail.

“Do not bring to us people who are mining in small quantities. We want to know what action has been taken against the big people/miners,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar told the counsel appearing for UP government.

The directions were given after the state government informed the bench that it has filed an action taken report stating that it has registered FIRs against a couple of persons engaged in illegal mining. The initiative was taken since the August 5 order banning sand mining without clearance.

The bench told the state government’s counsel that according to several news reports, illegal sand mining continued even after its August 5 order, with pictures showing heavy mining machinery and trucks being used for the purpose.

The bench also rejected the UP government’s plea for exempting its officials from personal appearance before the NGT on August 29.

The tribunal had on August 5 banned sand mining without clearance in the beds and banks of rivers across the country and had issued notices to all the states seeking their replies on a petition contending that rampant illegal mining and transportation of lakhs of tonnes of sand are being carried out every year, causing loss of lakhs of crores of rupees to the state exchequer.

The order had come in the backdrop of the action taken by the then SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal against illegal sand miners in the Gautam Budh Nagar district in July.

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