Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding diversion of the natural flow of river for mining, Sonipat, Haryana, 14/07/2021

  • 14/07/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Krishan Chander Vs Union of India & Others dated 14/07/2021.

The issue for consideration is remedial action against illegal mining by M/s D.S.P. Associates, Sonipat by diverting natural flow of river by digging a man-made pit (20 ft. deep and 1 km long) and making a bund to stop the natural river flow.

A report filed by a Committee, March 30, 2021 said that the unit had erected a sand bund across the river and it was demolished by the Irrigation Department on October 23, 2020. A show cause notice was issued by the mining department on October 23, 2020 - as the unit was found diverting river flow and flow of river was obstructed due to the construction of a sand bridge/path across the river flow. However, the mining activity was permitted to resume by the mining department on October 28, 2020.

The NGT expressed its surprise that mining activity was permitted to be resumed on October 28, 2020 - despite the fact that the mining unit had committed serious violations. Also, the report by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board said that instream mining was being done in violation of EC condition and the violation continued for 824 days without any check. Illegal mining continued for 824 days, sand bund was illegally erected, instream mining was done and river flow was illegally diverted and inspite of this serious environmental violations, the state PCB in its report, October 8, 2020 said that there was no violation, the bench comprising NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justices Sudhir Agarwal and M. Sathyanarayan noted.

Illegal mining continued for three years without any action by the statutory regulators, showing the "failure of statutory regulatory mechanism, for which remedial action needs to be taken with the intervention of the higher authorities by the Government," the order of July 14, 2021 said.

The NGT directed the Chief Secretary, Haryana to look into the matter and also into the conduct of erring officers, who failed to take action against illegal mining for more than three years and also gave a false report to the NGT.