Sand mining: SC asks NGT to consider MP govt plea in a week

The SC asked the National Green Tribunal to consider within a week the plea of Madhya Pradesh government seeking modification of its order putting a blanket ban on sand mining.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Green Tribunal to consider within a week the plea of Madhya Pradesh government seeking modification of its order putting a blanket ban on sand mining without any licence or environmental clearance from river beds across the country.

The appeal filed through the state Chief Secretary submitted that the NGT`s August 5 order was affecting the construction industry as the district authority which is entitled to permit sand mining in less than five hectare of area has been left with no option.

A bench of justices AK Patnaik and JS Khehar considered the state`s plea that under the MP Minor Minerals Rules, 1996, framed under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act for regulating the mining of minor minerals, the district administration can allow sand mining on land measuring less than five hectares.

The bench passed the order to hear the plea within a week after the state government said that NGT has given a long time for hearing its application for modification of its order and it will affect the construction industry which had virtually come to a stand still.

"We request NGT to take up the application and pass order in accordance with the law within a week from today," the bench said.

The NGT on August 5 had restrained sand mining without any licence or environmental clearance from river beds across the country on a plea alleging that such activities were going on in UP with the "wilful connivance" of its state machinery.

Widening the ambit of the plea, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had said its order would be applicable across the nation as the petition raises substantial environmental issues.

PTI

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