Delhi

‘Is Air Force protecting its land on Yamuna bank from sand mining?’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Central government if the Indian Air Force (IAF) was protecting its land on the banks of Yamuna, where the Tilpat station of Western Air Command is located, from illegal sand mining.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued notice to the Ministry of Defence and IAF on a petition filed in public interest seeking a CBI probe into alleged collusion by officials of the local authorities and the air force with the sand mafia.

The Bench said it will decide whether to order a CBI probe after seeing what the IAF has done to protect its land. During the hearing, the Central government said that 90% of a wall around the site has been completed.

Whistle-blower

The court was hearing a plea filed by a man, claiming to be a whistle-blower, alleging that illegal sand mining was going on at defence land located at the Tilpat Ranges 1 and 2 on the banks of Yamuna in Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida, which falls in the Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner has said he had made representations to various authorities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had forwarded it to the Ministry of Defence and the IAF. He has claimed that the illegal activities have caused a loss of over ₹29 crore to the exchequer.

The man had earlier filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal against the illegal mining activities of sand mafias on the defence land. In 2013, the tribunal had prohibited mining activity which was being carried out in Faridabad.

He had earlier approached the HC seeking his relocation to the Capital from Haryana where he was allegedly facing death threats for raising the issue.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 8:07:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/is-air-force-protecting-its-land-on-yamuna-bank-from-sand-mining/article23907271.ece

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