Vijayawada: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a joint committee to inspect the alleged unscientific sand mining being done by Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited in the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.

This comes after Nagendra Kumar filed a petition alleging violations of conditions of environmental clearance and permissions granted. He also alleged that Jaiprakash Power Ventures was conducting excess mining in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur, and Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh.

It was also alleged that while Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited was granted permission for sand mining, it is doing so using mechanized methods instead of manual methods as provided under the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines 2016. This is causing huge environmental degradation in the riverine beds of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Kumar said the company is not following the directions issued by the principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, as well as this Tribunal in carrying out the mining activities. Further, there is no mechanism to check such illegal activities, he alleged.

The NGT has asked the committee to check whether Jaiprakash Power Ventures has the necessary clearance as well as consent under the environmental laws for sand mining. It has also been asked to check if any conditions imposed either in the environmental clearance or in the 'Consent to Operate' has been violated.

The committee has been instructed to check whether the firm is carrying out indiscriminate and unscientific sand mining against the directions issued by the Tribunal. It will also inspect if any excess mining has been done and if so to assess the value of the excess mining.

The committee will comprise a senior officer from the Andhra Pradesh regional office of the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC); a senior official from the state-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA); a senior official from the department of mines and geology; and a senior official/scientist from the Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (APPCB). The panel will inspect the mining areas in all the districts and submit a report to the Tribunal by 5 October.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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