The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure there is no mechanised sand mining on the Yamuna riverbed in Kanpur Dehat district. A vacation bench headed by Justice U D Salvi issued notices to the environment ministry, the Yogi Adityanath-led state government and the district magistrate of Kanpur Dehat and sought their reply before July 6. The NGT’s direction last week came after a plea alleged illegal and unauthorised excavation in the district.
“A prima facie case of illegal sand mining with the unauthorised use of JCBs (mechanical excavators) in the river bed of Yamuna in Khand No 3, 4 and 5 of Daulatpur village in Tehsil Bhognipur in Kanpur Dehat district has been vividly made out before us with the pleadings and the photographs annexed to the application… Issue notice to the respondents,” the bench, also comprising expert member P C Mishra, said. The green panel, in its June 16 order, also directed the state government to upload a copy of the environmental clearances granted to miners in the area on their website.
The direction came on a plea filed by UP resident Jai Prakash seeking an immediate ban on illegal mechanised mining in Tehsil Bhognipur of Kanpur Dehat.He alleged that environmental clearance was given to two miners without following the procedure of a district survey report and in violation of several environmental norms. The tribunal in 2015 had banned sand mining on the Yamuna in the entire state and said “no mining activity, both legal and illegal, should be carried out on the banks of river”.