Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding riverbed mining in Dumka district, Jharkhand, 10/06/2020

  • 10/06/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of M.D. Rizwan Vs State of Jharkhand dated 10/06/2020. The matter related to riverbed sand mining in Dumka District of the State of Jharkhand, which according to the applicant was against the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 framed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) which allowed riverbed sand mining only during the dry season and not in the rainy season.

Also, In August 17, 2016 the state of Jharkhand, had prohibited sand mining on the riverbed during the rainy season. But the applicant argued that even after this, mining had continued unabated. The Deputy Commissioner’s of Dumka, Pakur and Deogarh Districts by order dated 13.07.2017 had asked for action taken reports. The action taken reports were found unsatisfactory and thus, further, action taken reports were called for in November 2017.

Even after the passage of so many years, no concrete action was taken against the illegal activity, the court found.

“Considering the contentious issues involved in the case and the evident reluctance on the part of the State machinery to comply with the directions as well as the statutory provisions” the NGT directed the constitution of a committee comprising of (i) the Regional Office, CPCB; (ii) the concerned Divisional Commissioner(s) having jurisdiction over Dumka, Pakur and Deogarh Districts, (iii) SEIAA, Jharkhand and, (iv) Jharkhand Pollution Control Board (State PCB) to jointly look into the matter and verify, whether the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 was being followed, especially with respect to riverbed mining being carried out during the monsoon season. The committee has been directed to take action against persons involved in such illegal activities.