Nod given for mining in Yamuna at Saharanpur without replenishment study: NGT

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The National Green Tribunal has observed that the environmental clearance for mining from the Yamuna riverbed in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district has been granted without replenishment study.

A principal bench of NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing an appeal against the order granted Environmental Clearance (EC) by State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) for Sand, Bajri, or Boulder mining from Yamuna riverbed at Nuniyari Aehatmal village in Saharanpur by Shanti Enterprises.

The appellant has also relied upon the Sand Mining Guidelines, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to the effect that sand mining can be permitted only after conducting a replenishment study. In its response, SEIAA stated that it has decided to grant EC for a period of one year only, saying the Project proponent (PP) should submit the replenishment study, duly approved by the competent authority, for extension of EC beyond one year.

Further, in the order, the green court said: “From the above, it remains undisputed that EC has been granted without replenishment study which is sought to be defended that the same is only for one year to be extended only if replenishment study is completed before that.”

The tribunal said the project proponent instead of focusing on the point of the effect of the absence of replenishment study, which is mandatory under norms, sought to argue on locus and bonafides of the appellant which are not relevant in view of patent illegality in EC granted in favour of PP.

It further said, accordingly, the impugned EC will stand quashed without prejudice to fresh EC being granted after following due process of law. The mining already conducted is illegal and consequences of such illegality may be appropriately determined and enforced by the SEIAA, UP and State PCB, after hearing the PP, within one month from today.

20220319-123202

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