A bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel & Justice S. P. Wangdi while listening to case pertaining unregulated sand mining in 6 states namely Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, UP & Rajasthan, showed dissatisfaction on their inaction to control illegal sand mining
The Bench also asked the director of Indian School of Mines, Rajiv Shekhar, who was present in person to write an unconditional apology for not pertaining to the orders of the court. The bench earlier had directed the Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha to prepare a restoration plan in consultation with the Indian School Of Mines. However, the director, declining to comply order stated that “He can’t appoint a person in two days” was made to be present in the court.
The Court further terming the affidavit filed by the states as “absurd” said that these are an emergency situation and the states must act responsibly.
In West Bengal, unchecked sand mining on the banks of river Subarnarekha by use of suction pumps, earth movers and netting in an area falling under Jaleshwar Tehsil, Balasore has led to the river changing its course every year and causing flooding during every monsoon, threatening the safety of the villages situated along the river.
As per reports, the sand business in India employs over 35 million people and is valued at well over $126 billion per annum. In the year 2015-2016, there were over 19,000 cases of illegal minor minerals including sand in the country.
-India Legal Bureau