The National Green Tribunal (Southern Zone), Chennai, has banned sand extraction in the rivers that fall under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas in Udupi district.
Ranjan Shetty, advocate for the applicants, said that the tribunal passed the order on May 17.
The tribunal, said: “In the interest of the environment, we pass an order of injunction restraining the respondents and their subordinates from taking any steps towards issuance of sand mining permits in any manner to extract sand in the rivers in Udupi District which are located in CRZ area until further orders from this Tribunal.”
The next hearing of the tribunal will be on July 13.
Mr. Shetty said in spite of strong protests from villagers against the sand extraction in the in the rivers coming under CRZ areas in the district, sand was being mined in violation of norms and flouting all environmental laws in last few years. Residents were scared by the movement of heavy trucks used during sand transportation.
Sand extraction was being done not only in violation of norms but also by deceit, as the permit issued for the extraction of sand at one place was used for extraction in a different river. Besides this, there were number of sand extractors with out any permit.
Though a large quantity of sand was being extracted within the jurisdiction of gram panchayats, they were not getting any sand locally. Sand extracted was being transported to other districts or other States. The Mines and Geology Department was lukewarm to the complaints of villagers.
Though the matter was brought to the notice of the concerned authorities, legislators, police department and District Incharge Minister, it did not yield any results.
A few gram panchayats held grama sabhas and passed resolutions demanding a ban on sand extraction and sent copies of the resolutions to the Mines and Geology Department, but to no avail.
Finally, Udaya Suvarna and a few other residents of Baikady and Kukkude villages near Brahmavar in Udupi taluk approached National Green Tribunal. The Tribunal after hearing both the parties on May 17, issued an order staying the issuance of sand mining permit/extraction of sand from the rivers of Udupi district, Mr. Shetty said. This order had come as a big relief, said K.S. Poojary, resident of Kukkude.
Order yet to be received
Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal told The Hindu that the district administration was yet to receive a certified copy of the NGT order. “After we get the order copy, we will take necessary action,” he said.
Credits The Hindu