[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE National Green Tribunal (NGT) has agreed to look into allegations of illegal sand mining along the Sone river bed in Bihar and has directed state authorities to jointly inspect the area and submit a report to the tribunal forthwith.
The tribunal was responding to a petition that alleged that M/s. Broadson Commodities Pvt Ltd had been illegally undertaking sand mining operations on the Sone river bed and in the process had constructed several temporary bridges across the river. Sand has been excavated at many places by digging up to a depth of 50 feet against the permissible depth of three metres, resulting in the reduction in groundwater levels in the nearby area, the petition alleged.
“We have taken up the matter considering the serious question of environment raised in the application, even though none of the applicants is present,” the NGT panel asserted.
Directing the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Department of Geology and Mining, Government of Bihar, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) and the District Magistrate, Bhojpur to jointly inspect the area around the river Sone, an NGT panel comprising Justice S P Wangdi and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal also directed the SEIAA and BSPCB to take appropriate action against the private limited company if the allegations were found to be correct.
They were also asked to submit an action-taken report and inspection report before the next date of hearing and listed the matter for August 30, 2019.