By NewsGram Staff Writer
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Uttarakhand government and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to put a ban on illegal mining in the holy city of Haridwar, a newspaper report said.
An NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar took this decision after hearing the appeal filed by an NGO called Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), The Times of India reported.
In its plea, SAFE allegedly claimed that illegal mining of sand and boulders was being carried out in Kandabhagamal, Bishanpur, and Goghpur.
Calling the NGT order a welcoming step, Vikram Kumar Tongad, president of SAFE, said to TOI, “Illegal mining is rampant in the villages like Bishanpur, Goghpur, Sajjanpur Pilli, and Kandabhagamal because of which Ganga is being adversely affected. Hopefully, the order can put a curb to these activities.”
The MoEF team had submitted its recommendations on March 27 to stop all illegal mining in the area since it was severely impacting the biological diversity and wild animals’ corridor, he added.
The MoEF mentioned in its report that large scale illegal mining of minor minerals was noticed along the river bed of Ganga. Hundreds of tractors were found engaged in the transport of sand, bajri and boulders. In many places, mining was being carried out close to the spurs which were constructed to avoid flooding.