In response to a recent order from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in the case of Raja Muzaffar Bhat v. Union of India and Others, the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee swiftly took action against illegal mining activities in the region. The committee has presented its Report on measures taken, which addresses the directives issued by the NGT to recover losses caused to the state and the environment.
As per the order, a copy of which lies with Ground Report, The NGT instructed the state pollution control board to recover losses suffered by the state due to illegal mining, including the value of minerals and environmental damage caused by the activity. Citing Supreme Court rulings, the NGT stressed the need for the state pollution control board to take legal action against violators.
Pursuant to NGT orders, the Budgam District Minerals Officer has advised that the lessees of Minor Mineral Block No. 11 and Block No. 12 have not been involved in illegal mining within or outside their designated areas.
A list of tipper/tractor owners involved in the illegal mining and transport of minerals from Doodhganga Nallah was provided. The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee has assessed the environmental compensation to be imposed on violators, which amounts to Rs. 28.50 lacs.
To determine the appropriate environmental compensation, the assessment was entrusted to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee.
After careful evaluation, the MAH recommended the levy of Rs. 28.50 Lacs as environmental compensation to offenders. Compensation has been calculated according to the polluter pays principle, and offenders have been duly notified to deposit the amount within 45 days. Failure to comply will result in an additional interest of 12% on environmental compensation.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee has demonstrated its commitment to enforcing environmental standards and holding violators accountable for their actions. By taking swift action to implement the NGT orders, the committee aims to address the environmental damage caused by illegal mining activities.
The development marks a significant step towards preserving the ecological balance in Jammu and Kashmir and serves as a reminder of the importance of sustainable mining practices and environmental conservation.
The authorities involved, including the Budgam District Minerals Officer and the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee, are continuing their efforts to ensure effective implementation of environmental regulations and prevent further damage to the state’s natural resources.
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