NGT Restrains Mining In Budgam Stream, Terms Allotment Illegal

SRINAGAR: Green activist, Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat’s petition has finally led the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to restrain Gurugram-based construction company, NKC Projects Pvt Ltd, from undertaking mining on a mountain stream bed in Budgam.

Riverbed Mining undertaken by NKC Projects Pvt Ltd cranes in Shali Ganga around Trumbi Bagh Lal Gam District Budgam
Pic: Raja Muzaffar Bhat

NGT chairperson Sudhir Agarwal ruled that the environmental clearance (EC) was granted to the firm without any replenishment study and therefore, in violation of Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 and Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020.

“Hence ex facie EC granted to R-4 (NKC Projects) which has been challenged in Appeal are illegal,” the green court ruled.

Raja Muzaffar Bhat in his petition had argued that the grant of ECA for minor mineral block No. 4 spreading 2.90 hectares on the bed of the Shali Ganga stream in Lalgam (Budgam) was in violation of Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016 which prohibits mining within 25 meters from the embankment.

The Shali Ganga stream originates in the Tatakoti glacier in the Pir Panjal mountain range as a tributary of the Doodh Ganga, a tributary of the Jhelum river.

The mining site is already over-exploited and unfit for mining. The mining, the petition asserted will result in disruption of flow, impacting the Horeksar wetland conservation area, the plea said.

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