Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal sand mining in Vidisha district, Madhya Pradesh, 25/09/2023

  • 25/09/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Central Zone Bench, Bhopal) in the matter of In Re: News report Dated 24th September 2023 Dainik Bhaskar Bhopal Edition, Reported by Sh. Manish Kushwah with regard to illegal mining, District Vidisha Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh dated 25/09/2023.

Despite repeated direction issued by the Supreme Court of India and the NGT, the district administration of Vidisha has failed to control the illegal mining in the district of Vidisha, Ganjbasauda, tehsil in the villages Udaipur, Pathari, Ghatera, Pathari, Noorpur, situated 120 km from Bhopal. It is reported that there are various illegal mining activities in the forest area and more than 500 illegal mining is being done within the area of 5 km by use of heavy machines by sand mafias.

It is further reported that land for mining is being sold in a private capacity by sand mafia for a certain amount and approximately 100 trucks are being transported from this place to other places and are sold for financial gain, causing loss to the environment, loss to the State exchequer and in this way mining of more than 240 crores annually is being done damaging the forest area. The mining area is being sold from Rs. 50,000 to Rs 4 lakh for illegal mining by sand mafias with security guarantee.

The NGT said that the media report raised substantial questions relating to the environment and directed a notice to be issued to the state of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Collector, Vidisha, Director (mining), Madhya Pradesh.

The legal cell of the Dainik Bhaskar has been directed to submit all video graphs, contents and the statements and all evidence collected in the proceedings. The court also directed a four member committee to visit the place and look into the grievances and submit a report.

The committee has been asked to submit the report on the following points:

  • Number of minings sanctioned by the authorities with consent conditions and EC as required
  • Number of illegal minings with details of violators involved in the process of illegal mining
  • Mining excavated by illegal mining mafia, the value
  • Status of DPR and the replenishment study of area
  • Loss of the forest area and plantation
  • Environmental compensation against each violator in accordance with the parameter laid down by the CPCB and the NGT
  • Number of transport vehicle seized or action taken by the state authorities.

The NGT said that the mining should be undertaken by the state of Madhya Pradesh without any adverse impact on the environment but there is no proper mechanism to check the illegal quarrying and the excess sand mining. The authorities are "conducting mining activities in collusion with the mining mafia and looting the natural wealth," said the NGT.