Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal mining in Banda district, Uttar Pradesh, 06/05/2022

  • 06/05/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Raj Kumar Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Others dated 06/05/2022.

Grievance in the applications is against illegal mining in village Kanwara and Bendakhadar, district Banda, Uttar Pradesh. It is said that the mining is in violation of Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines (SSMMG), 2016 and Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining (EMGSM), 2020.

The court, July 2, 2021 directed Additional Chief Secretary, Mining, Uttar Pradesh to furnish report about the compliance status including the status of DSR and replenishment studies for Banda district and also in-stream mining in submerged water and monitoring mechanism.

The court noted that the replenishment study as required under the SSMG-2016 and EMGSM-2020 has not been undertaken prior to the auction. With regard to the allegation of instream mining in submerged water, Additional Chief Secretary, Mining, Uttar Pradesh has "orally stated" that no such instream mining is permitted. However, in the reports filed before the Tribunal, no such statement has been made on behalf of the state.

The ACS has stated that replenishment study would be conducted prior to auctions in future and with regard to the current leases, ongoing replenishment study would be expedited. In the light thereof, the leases will be renewed, if necessary, he informed the court. Further, such studies for all districts in UP would be completed by December 31, 2022 and for Banda by June 30, 2022. Also, the allegations of instream mining would be verified and if found true, the same would be discontinued.

The NGT, May 6, 2022 directed that replenishment studies be completed by credible institutions, following due procedure, in accordance with Enforcement & Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020. Further, no mining be permitted till replenishment studies are completed.

The bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal of the NGT directed the state of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that the regulatory authorities are adequately equipped and capable to assess quantities of mined material. "With regard to instream mining, it may be ensured that the machinery permitted or used otherwise "comply with semi mechanised mining operations in true sense," the NGT order, May 6, 2022 said. In all mining potential districts, environmental damage assessment be carried out and annual assessment reports placed in public domain on the websites of the mining department as well as the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.