New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Tuesday directed the Odisha and West Bengal governments to file their replies before the green body in connection with illegal sand mining in Subarnarekha River which flows through both the states.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore directed the counsels of West Bengal and Odisha to submit the replies on the original petition and listed the matter for hearing through video conferencing September 4.
The directions came on the petition filed by Sudarshan Das seeking complete ban on the illegal sand mining in the river.
Sudarshan Das told Orissa POST, “Rampant illegal sand mining is happening in Subarnarekha River at Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal and areas of Balasore. This has been adversely affecting the villages of Odisha. The sand miners are doing it illegally without environment clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forest and without obtaining NOC from pollution control board.”
The NGT had earlier passed an order directing the district collector and SP of Paschim Medinipur district to keep a tight vigil in the area and seize vehicles and machinery used by the sand miners.
However, the advocate of the petitioner argued that the order of the NGT has not been implemented in true spirit by the West Bengal government.
The action taken report submitted by the district magistrate of Paschim Medinipur district is inadequate and, ironically, the imposition of fine on the illegal mining activities by the district administration is based on Motor Vehicle Act nd not under environment protection laws, argued the advocate of petitioner.