Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal mining in Yamuna, tehsil Gannaur, district Sonipat, Haryana, 21/07/2023

  • 21/07/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Munish Vs Haryana State Pollution Control Board & Others dated 21/07/2023.

Issue raised in the application was illegal mining by M/s Ultimate Group, tehsil Gannaur, district Sonipat, Haryana. It was further contended that the unit is extracting sand from Yamuna beyond permissible quantity and without consent to operate in violation of section 33 (A) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and in violation of EC conditions.

The report filed by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board stated that the unit was operating without a valid CTO under Water Act 1974 and Air Act 1981 from the SPCB - thus violating the condition of environmental clearance. Further, the unit had not submitted the six monthly compliance report of the environmental clearance conditions nor submitted the report of replenishment study of the mining in the Yamuna river bed as per environmental clearance condition.

The report said that the unit also failed to submit reports of monitoring of groundwater level and quality which should be carried out in and around the mine lease by establishing a network of existing wells and constructing new piezometers during the mining operation. The monitoring have to be carried out four times in a year.

The NGT, July 21, 2023 observed that the SPCB report reveals that the "matter was within the knowledge of the Regional Officer, HSPCB and inspite of the knowledge that the unit has no valid CTO it was indirectly permitted to operate without any valid CTO in violation of environmental rules".

The tribunal directed the Member Secretary, HSPCB to "take disciplinary action against the concerned Regional Officer for negligence in performing his duties and indirectly permitting for illegal mining causing loss to state exchequer".

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board was directed to immediately take remedial action and to stop mining activity and to realize the environmental compensation according to rules and to submit the report within four weeks.