Illegal sand mining rampant in Gautam Budh Nagar: Panel

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YAMUNANew Delhi, August 10;The three member committee of the Union environment and forests ministry has found rampant mining in Gautam Budh Nagar.

In the report submitted to the ministry it has said, “It is evident that rampant, unscientific and illegal mining has been going on at various locations in the Gautam Budh Nagar District along the Yamuna River. This is in violation of the environmental regulations, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the directions given by the Honourable Supreme Court, Honourable High Court of Allahabad and National Green Tribunal, New Delhi.”

But the committee did not recommend any action against either officers or miners in the district, instead laying down the procedure rules and precautions to be applied in future.

The committee noted that at several spots it visited in the district though mining activity had come to halt but it found enough tell-tale signs and excavated sand lying around to easily conclude that heavy mining had been undertaken recently.

In Raipur Khadar, the committee headed by director in the ministry, Dr Saroj, said three leases had operated adjacent to each other without environmental clearance or consent to operate.

At other sites the Central team visited – Yakutpur, Kundli, Gaddi-Samastipur, Mamnathal and Zuppa villages, the report said they had talked to villagers to find evidence as well as found enough material sitting on river sides from earlier mining to show that sand had been excavated in recent past.

Out of all the sites the only one where the panel did not record any mining was at the Hindon Bridge near Kisan Chowk.

The committee has, following the February 2013 Supreme Court orders and recommendations of a committee formed by the environment ministry in 2010 reiterated that specific stretches of the rivers should be identified for mining using exact coordinates and land record reference. The mine leases should be done on basis of cumulative impact assessments and annual replenishment studies which show at what rate sand is being produced and removed from rivers.

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