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NGT asks Himachal govt to ensure ban on illegal mining

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure there is no illegal mining in the state "under any circumstances".

Responding to a plea alleging unauthorised excavation on government land in Kangra, a circuit bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to submit a restoration plan for damage caused to the area where illegal sand mining has been carried out in the past.

"We make it clear that no illegal mining should be carried on in that area under any circumstances," the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said.

The green panel also issued notices to four persons who were allegedly carrying out mining in Kangra district.

"The department will serve all notices upon these parties to be personally present before the tribunal and to show cause why they should not be called upon to pay environmental compensation as they have been found to be carrying on illegal mining activity," the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said.

If the instances of illegal mining pointed out by the applicant were found to be true, the officer incharge of that area would be personally responsible, it warned.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by a Baljeet Singh seeking prohibition on illegal mining going on in villages Mather, Bharmot, Ghaugghar and Pharesh in Kangra district.

The plea had alleged that state authorities had turned a blind eye to mining activity as it was being done on the land belonging to the government.
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