Amidst national outrage over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday admitted before the five-member bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) that illegal sand mining was still on in several areas across the state.
It accepted before the tribunal that despite the latter’s orders dated August 5, 2013, prohibiting any incident of illegal sand mining in the country, rampant sand mining was still on in several areas across the state including Noida and Greater Noida without any permission or clearance from the UP government.
The counsel for UP government made the confession reluctantly after NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar confronted them with various documents and media reports,demonstrating rampant sand mining being carried out particularly in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
“From the documents before us, it is evidently clear that indiscriminate sand mining is going on in Gautam Budh Nagar in Noida. We would have expected the Deputy Commissioner and SP to comply with the Tribunal’s August 5 order and the Supreme Court’s earlier order but both have miserably failed.
“Let they personally appear before us on the next date of hearing i.e. August 29,” the bench said Responding to the Tribunal’s question if illegal sand mining was on even after its August 5 order,the UP government confessed to its failure to reign in the sand mining mafia in the state.
“Illegal sand mining is going on at some places. We have not caught anyone till now, as claimed by media reports. However, no permission from the state has been granted for the same,” the UP government counsel said.
The tribunal sought details of all major operators of mining in Noida.The tribunal banned beach sand mineral mining in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and granted liberty to advocates as well as public at large to bring to its notice all instances of illegal sand mining and names of persons doing so.