Stop unauthorised sand mining on Yamuna riverbed: NGT
The National Green Tribunal on Monday came down heavily on the Delhi government for permitting sand mining in the name of dredging and directed the authorities concerned to stop illegal mining on the Yamuna river bed and its surrounding areas.
“No illegal and unauthorised mining would be permitted anywhere on the river bank of <g data-gr-id="39">Yamuna</g> and its surrounding areas without proper compliance, proper permissions and particular environmental clearance in terms of the judgment of the Supreme Court...and judgement of the Tribunal,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swantanter Kumar said.
Noting that 80 <g data-gr-id="48">per cent</g> of the material dredged by contractors in <g data-gr-id="37">Yamuna</g> was sand and cannot be termed as ‘de- <g data-gr-id="47">silting</g> activity’, the green panel constituted a committee consisting of a senior officer from the Mining Department, concerned municipal Corporation, DPCC, MoEF and Delhi Jal Board.
Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of rivers and other water bodies.
The bench said that the committee would consider the analysis report of dredged material and the entire contract and submit their recommendations to the Delhi government which will then pass appropriate orders.
“The Committee shall take into consideration all the environmental and ecological aspects and also ensure that in the name of de-silting sand mining is not permitted and the contractor pays appropriate royalty in accordance with law,” the bench said.
During the hearing, the all the authorities assured the bench that they would not permit any illegal and unauthorised mining on <g data-gr-id="29">Yamuna</g>.
They also said that dredging was an “essential” activity which was being carried on at Wazirabad and Jagatpur <g data-gr-id="43">bund</g> areas here in the interest of the environment to ensure that undue sand/silt collects on the river bank to obstruct the flow of the river.
The tribunal had last year directed Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to take samples of the dredged material and report to the tribunal.
The tribunal had directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to ensure that no sand mining is permitted in the name of dredging of <g data-gr-id="41">Yamuna</g> at Wazirabad and Jagatpur <g data-gr-id="45">bund</g> areas here.
The order came on a petition by Rahul Nagar seeking a complete ban on illegal sand mining in the capital without obtaining environmental clearance and restoration of the damage done.
The petitioner had claimed that the sand mining mafia has begun to trespass private agricultural fields located near flood plains even though such activity, without any environmental clearance, is banned.