HC steers clear of illegal sand mining case

SHILLONG, April 19: Observing that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken cognizance of the illegal sand mining activities in the state and issued directions in this regard, the High Court of Meghalaya on Tuesday decided to steer clear of the issue.
“If there is a matter in such regard pending before the NGT and the NGT is either monitoring the activities or ensuring that appropriate steps are taken to regulate and control sand mining in a sustainable manner, the present proceedings may be closed,” the full bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Justice W Diengdoh and Justice HS Thangkhiew said while hearing the matter pertaining to illegal sand mining activities.
The Court perused the affidavit filed by the state indicating the issuance of some notifications pertaining to leases for sand mining and for effective monitoring thereof and observed that the Amicus Curiae in the instant case has submitted that the state’s monitoring activities have been confined to the Garo Hills area and not all over the state.
The Court also noted that there are reports of widespread unregulated and illegal sand mining and extraction of rocks and stones from the riverbeds in several other areas, including places close to Shillong.

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