The Hindu on July 7 highlighted illegal quarrying in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

Taking cognisance of a report published in The Hindu on July 7, which highlighted illegal quarrying in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve forests, the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Monday barred all quarrying activities in forest areas until further orders.

The Bench, comprising its judicial member Justice P. Jyothimani and expert member Prof. R. Nagendran, said, “Prima facie, the Tribunal is satisfied that restraining orders are to be issued against anyone carrying on quarrying activities in the forest areas until further orders.”

Notices issued

Citing the Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and other authorities in the State as parties, the Bench issued notices to them to file their responses.

Referring to the news report, the Bench said, “Looking into the environmental angle, the Tribunal is absolutely satisfied that environmental degradation has been committed by unknown persons who are stated to be carrying mining activities against whom the respondents (authorities) must have control, since quarrying itself is governed by statutory law and is prohibited in certain areas like forests.”

Detrimental to wildlife

Continuous quarrying in such areas would not only be detrimental to wildlife, but may also cause environmental degradation.

The Tribunal directed the Erode and Coimbatore District Collectors to enforce the order.

District Collectors should report whether any person had been given permission to undertake quarrying in the said forest area and if so, under what provisions of law.

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