NGT forms panel on illegal mining in Godda district of Jharkhand

 The National Green Tribunal has constituted a committee to probe alleged illegal sand mining in Godda district of Jharkhand.

The tribunal passed the order while hearing a matter where it had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of a newspaper report about “rampant illegal mining” of sand in some parts of the district.

According to the report, heavy machinery was being used for unauthorised mining and the authorities had turned a blind eye to it.

A bench of judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said there was “a substantial question relating to the environment”, and before taking any action, it was appropriate to call for a factual report.

The bench then constituted a joint committee comprising the District Magistrate (DM) of Godda, and representatives of the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board and the regional office of the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in Ranchi.

“The committee shall visit the site, collect relevant information and submit a factual report within two months,” the bench said in an order passed last week.

It said the DM will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

The matter has been listed for further proceedings on February 28 before the eastern zone bench of the tribunal in Kolkata.

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