Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding stone crushing units operating illegally in the river bed of Raidhak-II, West Bengal, 18/08/2022
State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), West Bengal in its affidavit, has stated that stone crushing activity has not been included in the Schedule appended to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006, neither is there any provision in the ‘PARIVESH Portal’ of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, for making such applications by the project proponents. It is also stated that as per the Office Memorandum of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change dated 19.04.2021, all files regarding Environmental Clearance have to be processed strictly through ‘PARIVESH Portal’.
The Principal Bench of the NGT vide its order, January 31, 2019 (Original Application No. 479/2016, Pravesh Vs. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change & Others) had directed that stone crushing units shall mandatorily obtain prior Environmental Clearance. The NGT said that it cannot understand why the ‘PARIVESH Portal’ of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, should not contain any provision or any mention in the Schedule in the EIA Notification, 2006, for stone crushing units to apply for grant of Environmental Clearance.
The NGT order came in the wake of Original Application alleging that M/s Larsen and Toubro Limited and M/s Simplex Infrastructure Limited, are operating their Stone Crushing Units in the river bed of Raidhak-II river and are extracting big stones and boulders from the river bed and thereafter they are crushing the said stones into small cubicles of stones and selling the same for commercial gain without obtaining necessary permissions.