Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal operation of saw mills, Shri Madhopur tehsil, Sikar district, Rajasthan, 12/04/2023

  • 12/04/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Kalu Ram Yadav Vs State of Rajasthan dated 12/04/2023.

Grievance in the application was against illegal operation of saw mills in tehsil Shri Madhopur, district Sikar, Rajasthan. It was stated that the saw mills were fed by illegally cut trees. There are about 20 sawmills which are non-compliant with the environmental norms. They do not have requisite consents.

The report filed by the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board stated that 23 saw mills are registered with the forest department. Five out of them are closed and 18 are operating. Only two have consent to operate. The process to levy environmental compensation against the 16 remaining saw mills was in process.

The court said that in the face of acknowledged violations, there is no proportionate action to enforce the rule of law. 18 saw mills have been operating without the requisite consents and neither their illegal operation has been stopped nor their accountability fixed for past violations. Therefore, apart from erring saw mills, accountability of officers colluding with illegal activities has to be determined.

Accordingly, the court directed the constitution of a joint committee to finalise the pending action, including closing illegally operating saw mills and fixing their accountability for past violations, alongwith accountability of officers who have colluded with the illegality.