New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal today directed "periodical inspections and surprise visits" along Betwa river banks in Jalaun and Hamirpur districts of Uttar Pradesh to keep a tab on illegal sand mining in the area.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore asked the district magistrates to look into the issue of illegal mining and keep a constant vigil over the area.
The tribunal noted the submissions of the district magistrates of Hamirpur and Jalaun who had informed it that no illegal sand mining was going in the area and the proceedings in the matter should be closed.
During the proceedings, the counsel for the petitioner NGO told the NGT that he has been informed that miners have taken the environmental clearance but as far as illegal mining was concerned he has no specific instances.
The bench said, "In these circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that the statement given earlier by both the district magistrates is correct and with responsibility. At this juncture, there is no reason to have any doubt or disbelieve the statement given by the district magistrates. Therefore, we are of the view that further proceedings in the matter need not to be continued.
"However, we make it clear that both the district magistrates shall continue to look into the question of illegal mining and keep a constant vigil over the area which may include periodical inspection of the site and surprise visit also. We sincerely hope that there shall be no lapse in this regard."
The NGT had earlier directed authorities to immediately stop illegal sand mining in the area and issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Uttar Pradesh government and state pollution control board.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Jan Sashaktikaran seeking action against alleged illegal sand mining on Betwa river.