Illegal sand mining in Jharkhand: NGT issues notice to mining department, others

The National Green Tribunal has issued notice to the director of the Jharkhand government’s mines department and others over alleged illegal sand mining in Gomia block of Bokaro district.

The NGT was hearing a matter where it had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of a media report about scores of trucks transporting illegally mined sand and the administration having “shut its eye” despite being aware of the unlawful activity.

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava said, “The news item raises an important issue relating to compliance with the provisions of the scheduled act (regarding environment).”

The bench, also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel, said in a recent order it was impleading the authorities concerned as respondents in the matter.

These comprised the director of the state’s mining department, member secretary of the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate of Bokaro, it said.

“Let notice be issued to the respondents. The respondents are directed to file their response before the eastern zone bench of the tribunal one week before the next date of hearing,” the tribunal said.

The green tribunal listed the matter for further proceedings on January 15.

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