Illegal sand mining: NGT unsatisfied with Andhra Pradesh government

Hyderabad: In a hearing on illegal sand mining in Andhra Pradesh, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) expressed its dissatisfaction with the reports and submissions made by the state of Andhra Pradesh.

In the hearing held on February 14, the environmental body criticised the Andhra Pradesh government regarding the case about illegal sand mining on the river Krishna.

The defense counsel for the state of Andhra Pradesh had argued that the de-siltation of the Krishna river was justified for the cause of development, as well in the interest of the capital city Amaravati.

‘Need for independent report on illegal sand mining’

However, the National Green Tribunal enquired as to what actions have been taken by the state government to mitigate the damage already caused to the river bed. The environmental body further demanded that a report needs to be submitted about the actions taken to address the problem of de-siltation of the Krishna river, and that the report needs to be conducted by an independent body.

The NGT further constituted a committee which comprised of an Expert Appraisal Committee from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, a representative from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), as well as representative members from IIT Dhanbad and IIM Bengaluru. The committee is required to submit the report within two months, said the environmental body.

The four-member bench was chaired by Adarsh Kumar Goel. The next hearing has been scheduled for May 13, 2020.

Illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh

Earlier in December, the NGT had warned Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board of slapping a Rs 100 crore fine, for negligence shown towards the issue of illegal sand mining in the state. As of the year 2018-19, Andhra Pradesh has witnessed more than 7,500 cases registered under illegal mining. However, the number of court cases filed from the year 2016 to 2019 comes to a mere number of 18.

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