NEW DELHI: The environment ministry appointed team has found evidence of "rampant and unscientific" illegal sand mining in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Reiterating the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal orders, the team stressed that all mining activity must have environmental clearance. It has recommended that cumulative impact assessment of riverbed mining be undertaken before giving clearances, as well as stepping up monitoring.
The ministry set up the team on August 6 following the outcry against the suspension of the district's sub divisional magistrate Durga Shakti Nagpal, who was working to shut down the illegal mining in the area. The report has been submitted to the ministry.
The team's report doesn't offer any suggestions on punitive action against those carrying out and aiding illegal mining along the river Yamuna and Hindon.
The environment ministry team visitied seven sites along the Hindon and Yamun rivers. Evidence of large scale illegal mining was obtained from five of these sites. In Zuppa village, the team was told that some of villagers even lend out their farms for storing the sand, and that "it is lifted as and when it is economically viable". The team also found that there had been an effort to cover up the sand pits at another site, Gaddi-Samastipur village. Three mines in the Raipur Khadar area, which had been granted leases by the state government were shut at the time of inspection. However, all three op...