NGT disposes suo motu petition related to illegal excavation of sand in MP

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) disposed of a Suo Motu Petition related to the illegal excavation and transportation of sand in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh.

The Petition is registered  suo motu on the basis of the news item appearing in the daily newspaper dated 03.02.2024.

As per the news item sand was being illegally excavated in a red coloured tractor near Bhola Bag’s farm on Arjun Pahadia Road at Umaria. 

As per the disclosure some action has been taken by the police against the culprits. 

The news item reveals violation of the Sand Mining Guidelines, 2016 and provisions of Environment Protection Act, 1986.

The news item raises substantial issue relating to compliance of environmental norms.  

"Power of the Tribunal to take up the matter in suo-motu exercise of power has been recognized by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of “Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai vs. Ankita Sinha & Ors.” reported in 2021 SCC Online SC 897."

Having regard to the nature of issue involving the matter, the Principal Bench of Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Dr. A Senthil Vel opined that the Member Secretary, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) is required to take appropriate action to ascertain the extent of the illegal sand mining in the area concerned, the persons responsible for the same and also to take appropriate action for imposing the Environmental Compensation for violation of the environmental norms.

"Member Secretary, MPPCB will submit the action taken report within three months before the Registrar of the Central Zonal Bench of the Tribunal. If found necessary the matter will be listed for further consideration before the Central Zone Bench, Bhopal. Office is directed to transfer the original record of the OA to Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal", directed by the NGT.