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Illegal mining: NGT constitutes joint committee in Gonda to verify factual position, take appropriate remedial action

With regard to allegations of illegal mining by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member Parliament from Kesar Ganj, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh in Gonda District of Uttar Pradesh, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a Joint Committee to verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action.

The Principal Bench comprising Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and Dr. A. Senthil Vel heard an application raising regarding illegal mining by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Member in villages Majharath, Jaitpur, Nawabganj, Tehsil Tarbganj, District Gonda, illegal transportation of the extracted minor minerals by overloaded trucks numbering more than 700 everyday, storage and illegal sale of minor mineral measuring about 20 lakh cubic meters and damage caused to Patpar Ganj Bridge and Road by overloaded trucks.

Prima facie, the averments made in the application raise questions relating to environment arising out of the implementation of the enactments specified in Schedule I to the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 , the NGT held.

In view of the averments made in the application, the NGT considers it appropriate that a Joint Committee be constituted to verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action.

Accordingly, the NGT constituted a Joint Committee comprising of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control (UPPCB) and District Magistrate, Gonda and directed the same to meet within one week, undertake visits to the site, look into the grievances of the applicant, associate the applicant and representative of the concerned project proponent, verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action by following due course of law and giving opportunity of being heard to the project proponent. The Committee may particularly clarify on compliance with Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 and Enforcement & Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020 including remediation/rehabilitation of mined areas and damage caused to river Saryu. The State PCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance, the NGT directed.

Matter is listed on 07.11.2023 for further hearing.

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