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No mechanical sand mining allowed, NGT tells Andhra, Telangana govts

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to ensure that there is no mechanical sand mining on the riverbeds in the states.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took note of photographs filed by an NGO and directed both the states to file affidavits of secretaries concerned on the issue of sand mining in major rivers like Krishna, Godavari, Vamsadhara, Penna, Pranahita and their tributaries.

“Both the states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shall file affidavits of Secretaries concerned as it is specifically contended by the applicant that largescale illegal and unauthorised mining is going on in both the States.

“In the meanwhile we restrain both the States, any corporation, authority or person for carrying on mechanical mining in the river bed,” the bench said.

The green panel’s direction came while hearing a plea by NGO Readiness for Empowerment through Legitimate Action (RELA) and Polavaram Mandal ex-president Vara Laxmi seeking directions to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odissa and Maharashtra governments to ban illegal sand mining.

The matter is now listed for hearing on January 25, 2017.

The plea, filed through advocate Sravan Kumar, had also sought directions to formulate and place on record strategy to prevent illegal mining and a cumulative impact study on rampant sand mining in these states.