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Illegal sand mining: SC seeks response from Centre, five States

A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde issued notice to the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh on the alarming extent of illegal sand mining. | File

A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde issued notice to the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh on the alarming extent of illegal sand mining. | File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Notice issued to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh

The Supreme Court on July 24 sought a response from the Centre and five States on a plea for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into rampant illegal beach and river sand mining which was causing severe ecological imbalance, disturbance in water tables and degradation of land.

A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde issued notice to the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh on the alarming extent of illegal sand mining activities with scant respect paid to the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines of 2016.

“Unscientific mining has caused degradation of land, topographical disorder and damage to land use patterns in and around mining regions,” the petition filed by M. Alagarsamy through advocate Pranav Sachdeva said.

The plea said armed miners “run the racket” and cause a loss of thousands of crores of rupees to the public exchequer.

The 2010 Guidelines had not been implemented in consultation with the States to maintain sustainable mining practices and to check illegal activities which harmed the ecology, the petition said.

Mr. Alagarsamy referred to media reports saying investigations in Tamil Nadu had revealed illegal mining of one crore metric tonnes of beach sand from Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts.

The petition said there was indiscriminate mining on the river basins of Godavari, Krishna, Penna, Mahanadi, Tungabhadra, Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Bahuda and Mahendratanaya in Andhra Pradesh.

The petition claimed from media reports that Maharashtra had recorded 1,39,706 illegal mining cases between 2013 and 2017 whereas Madhya Pradesh saw a total of 42,152 cases registered from 2009 to 2015. In Punjab, 92 FIRs were filed every month for illegal sand mining.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:54:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/illegal-sand-mining-sc-seeks-response-from-centre-five-states/article28697247.ece

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