New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Centre and all states seeking their response for framing rules for preventing illegal sand mining on river banks.
A bench headed by Justice S S Nijjar agreed to hear a PIL filed by National Legal Services Authority pleading the court to intervene in the matter as reckless and indiscriminate sand mining along river banks is entailing grave peril to life sustaining capacity of natural environment.
The PIL, filed through the lawyer Indra Sawhney, submitted that rivers are being plundered by a powerful mafia which needs to be prohibited.
"The rivers are being plundered by a powerful mafia controlling the sand mining business. The illegal trade is driven by the unholy nexus between contractors, politicians, trade union leaders, panchayat and Revenue officials and corrupt policemen," the petition said.
It was submitted "people are deprived of their fundamental rights to life and health and are exposed to the peril of disastrous consequences of reckless and indiscriminate sand mining along river banks and beds entailing grave peril to life sustaining capacity of natural environment."
"Farmers are losing their fertile fields due to illegal sand mining along the embankment of rivers. The large scale extraction of sand leads to erosion of channel banks and uncontrolled flooding of the fields without the embankment, the fields of wheat, pulses and potatoes fall apart and floods drain out the minerals from the soil. As a result agricultural productivity diminishes," the petition said.