New Delhi: The uproar over the suspension of Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who had cracked down on illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar district of the state, for allegedly demolishing a mosque wall has forced the National Green Tribunal to finally act. The National Green Tribunal on Monday banned sand mining across India till environmental clearance has been given for the same.
The tribunal has said that sand mining will be allowed from any river across the country if permission is taken from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. Earlier plots which were less than 5 hectares did not need any permission for mining. With Monday’s ruling, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority has become the nodal body for clearance.
“Illegal sand mining is a complete violation of the Environment Protection Act. Sand mining on the flood plains of rivers leads to natural hazards. Already issue of licenses for sand mining is very strict and illegal sand mining has to be stamped out with an iron hand. I intend to find out the facts, may be look at the issue by sending a team on a fact finding mission, to find out what the correct facts are.
It is not a party issue, but an issue of the nation. We will crackdown on illegal sand mining. If anything is found, will take action under the Environment Protection Act,” said Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan.