New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) A plea alleging large scale unauthorised and illegal sand mining with the use of heavy machinery in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh despite prohibition today prompted the National Green Tribunal to seek responses from the Centre and the state government.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Environment Ministry, UP government and others while seeking their replies in two weeks.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by UP resident Brij Mohan Yadav, who has alleged that illegal sand mining was being carried out in rivers Betwa and Ken flowing through Banda district despite NGT's direction to state authorities to "ensure that no illegal mining is permitted" in the district, particularly on the rivers Badain and Ken.
The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, alleged that despite giving an undertaking before the NGT that no sand mining would be allowed in the area, District Magistrates of Banda and Chhattarpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Zila Panchayat CEO have failed to comply with the direction of tribunal.
"Illegal sand mining is being continued unabated under the nose of the government officials in Banda district and the incidence of illegal mining taking place on Ken and other rivers of Banda district is gross violation of undertaking by the District Magistrate, Banda, and CEO, Zila Panchayat acting District Magistrate, Chattarpur.
Referring to reports that various 'influential' leaders were involved in illegal sand mining in the area, the plea said non-compliance of the NGT order and unregulated sand mining can change the natural course of the Ken river.
"The letter from the office of the SP Banda to the DM in October 2016 clearly states that several trucks carrying heavy quantity of sand from Madhya Pradesh are running through the district border resulting in the damage of the district roads.
"The letter states that it has also come to the knowledge of SP, that these trucks are not paying required state tax. The letter also states that various heavy machineries are used in the Kurdhan sand mine which is changing the natural course of the river.
"The changing course of the river is also creating a serious chance of heavy flood in the neighbouring villages. The letter further stated that there is not enough sand in the border area of Madhya Pradesh and sand is being originally mined from the border areas of Uttar Pradesh under the cover of Madhya Pradesh," the plea said, seeking penal action against the erring officials.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI