Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding stone crushers operating illegally in Moda Pahad, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, 04/05/2020
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Mahendra Saini, President, Moda Pahad Sangharsh Samiti Versus State of Rajasthan dated 04/05/2020.
A report was sought from Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) and SDM, Jhunjhunu with reference to the allegation that 35 stone crushers were being illegally operated in Moda Pahad area within the municipal limits of Jhunjhunu Municipal Council, within 1.5 km of the habitation and within the prohibited range from a National Highway and a State Highway. Their operation was causing lot of pollution to the environment and the inhabitants.
The NGT after going through the report stated that groundwater extraction was taking place illegally without taking any permission from CGWA.The Tribunal did not accept the report of the SDM, Jhunjhunu on the siting criteria having being met, as the “distance mentioned in the report is nearly within the prohibited distance of 1.5 km”but in the annexures enclosed with the report, distance has been stated to be 200 meters in some cases. Further, the court noted that no carrying capacity study was conducted for the area to “determine the optimal number of stone crushers which the area can sustain” the NGT chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.
The report mentions that some compensation had been assessed but the status of realization was not mentioned. The NGT directed the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board to perform its statutory duties in coordination with SDM, Jhunjhunu to ensure that illegal operation of stone crushers was stopped in Moda Pahad area, apart from recovery of compensation on ‘Polluter Pays’ principle. A further action taken report should also be filed before July 31, 2020.