Bhubaneswar: A Joint Inspection Committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has found that the Balasore district administration has not adhered to prescribed sand mining norms before allowing leases to private miners.
The panel in its report told the NGT that District Survey Report (DSR) which comprises details of mineral reserves, local geographies, natural resources and others lacked adequate data as mandated by the Sustainable Sand Mining Guidelines, 2016 and Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The revelation was done while hearing a case of sand mining at Dhitapur Mouza in Balasore district.
The petitioner in the case Haripada Manna and others had claimed that the DSR was of interim in nature and did not identify feasible mining sites, deposition sites, erosion prone sites and others in violation of established rules of sand mining.
The NGT had later formed a joint committee comprising members from the ministry of forest and environment and other agencies and asked them to report to the tribunal on the issue.
“We find from the committee’s report at page no 92 of the paper book that it is unanimously agreed that the district survey report needs to be supplemented with additional information with regard to inclusion of the provisions and inclusion of the guidelines with respect to sustainable sand mining guidelines, 2016 and enforcement & monitoring guidelines for sand mining, 2020,” the NGT said in its interim order.
“It also mentions that these principles are to be enforced with the new sand mining leases which are to be auctioned by the District Administration retrospectively,” it added.
The petitioner in the case argued before the NGT that auction of sand mining leases should not have been granted before the finalisation of the final District Survey Report.
The state government meanwhile told the NGT that the final DSR was uploaded on the district web portal around July 5. The NGT has asked the government to bring the claim on record through an affidavit.