NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Friday directed Uttar Pradesh government to show by August 29 “definitive results” of the action taken by it to ensure implementation of the tribunal’s order banning illegal sand mining in rivers and beaches across the country.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar warned the state government that if it does not show by the next date of hearing that it “means business” with regard to implementation of ban on sand mining as well as taking action against the perpetrators, its officials “will have a tough time”.

“Better show us some result that you (UP) mean business, else your officials will have a tough time. Show us definitive results about how many people have been sent to jail. The number of heavy mining machinery seized, damages imposed upon those engaged in sand mining without clearance, etc.

“Do not bring to us people who are mining in small quantities. We want to know what action has been taken against the big people/miners,” the bench told the counsel appearing for UP government and listed the matter on August 29.

The directions were given after the UP government informed the bench that it has filed an action taken report stating that it has, since the August 5 order banning sand mining without clearance, registered FIRs against a couple of persons engaged in illegal mining.

Not satisfied with the report, the bench told the state government’s counsel that according to several news reports, illegal sand mining continued even after its August 5 order, with pictures showing heavy mining machinery and trucks being used for the purpose.

The bench also rejected the UP government’s plea for exempting its officials -Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police of Gautam Budh Nagar-from personal appearance before the NGT on August 29.

The tribunal also asked senior advocate Raj Panjwani, representing the NGT Bar Association on whose plea the ban on illegal sand mining was imposed, to bring to the bench any one instance/case of sand mining in Noida, UP.

Courtesy: The Economic Times

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