BUDGAM – The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned a private company from engaging in any mining activity in the Shali Ganga River in Budgam.
According to an order, the NGT prevented NKC Projects Pvt Ltd from engaging in mining operations in the mentioned river.
The court ordered J&KPCB and District Magistrate Budgam to enforce the order.
Speaking to the Kashmir News Observer KNO news agency, caller Raja Muzaffar said he “took the plunge and challenged environmental permits for mining in Nallah as the private company started using heavy machinery such as JCBs, L&T hydraulic diggers/diggers for mining purposes at three locations in Nallah Shaliganga.
He added that the NKC Pvt. Ltd holds the contract for Srinagar Semi Ring Road and is using material from the Shali Ganga stream for the construction of the road.
“I have filed an appeal with the NGT which argued that the granting of the ECA for minor mineral block No 4 extending over 2.90 hectares on the bed of the Shali Ganga stream in the village of Lalgam in the district is in breach of the Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mining Concession, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 which prohibits mining within 25 meters of the embankment,” he said.
According to Bhat, NGT previously suspended mining works in a preliminary ruling on August 12, but today NGT has completely banned the company (NKC) from doing any mining in the Shali Ganga River.
Three areas where the company operated mines include River Bed Minor Mineral in Block No. 1, Dreigam Bridge Downstream Shaliganga Nallah, Tehsil-Khansahib, District-Budgam, M/s. NKC Projects Pvt. Ltd., Block 2, Banderpora upstream of Shaliganga Nallah, Budgam District and Minor Mineral Block 4, Panzan Bridge at Trumbi Bagh (Lalgam) downstream of Shaliganga Nallah, Budgam District.
Bhat said the NKC company failed to follow environmental clearance (EC) guidelines, including the use of JCB, overnight mining.
By order of NGT it is stated that it has come to our attention that Rule 4(iv) of the J&K Minor Minerals Rules 2016 has been amended by SRO 267 dated 03.07.2017 and the restriction has now been reduced to 10 yards. from the quay of the river.
The NGT noted that the only observation is that heavy machinery like JCB etc. were used for mining activities and therefore the proponent violated EC conditions.
The order stated: “Violation of the terms of the CE in itself will not vitiate the CE but may result in criminal proceedings such as the cancellation of the CE or the cancellation of the mining contract and/or the imposition of environmental compensation and other corrective and punitive measures as provided by law. Since it is within the competence of J&K PCB to take appropriate action in this regard, we request J&K PCB to take appropriate action in this regard. — (NO)