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NGT orders investigation into illegal sand mining in Damodar Riverbed, Bankura

NGT investigates illegal sand mining in Bankura's Damodar riverbed after villagers report environmental damage and threats to homes. A committee will report findings in four weeks

By Ground report
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NGT orders investigation into illegal sand mining in Damodar Riverbed, Bankura

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Following allegations of illegal mining and sand extraction from the Damodar riverbed in Nafardanga Madanmohanpur, Bankura district, the eastern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered an investigation into the matter.

The directive, issued on May 29, 2024, mandates the formation of a three-member committee to visit the site and submit an affidavit within four weeks concerning the allegations. The District Magistrate of Bankura has been appointed as the nodal officer responsible for all logistical arrangements and for filing the committee’s report.

The application, filed by residents, claims that illegal sand mining operations are being conducted using mechanical devices such as earth movers in the southern part of the Damodar river. The applicants and villagers are reportedly facing significant environmental threats due to these activities.

According to the plea, excessive sand mining with mechanical devices has altered the river’s natural course, leading to several adverse effects. These include erosion, depletion of sand in the riverbed, deepening of riverbeds, and widening of river mouths, which have resulted in increased salinity of the water.

Additionally, the plea highlights that the villagers' homes and livelihoods have been severely impacted. There is growing concern that if these activities continue, the village may face flooding during the upcoming monsoon season, further endangering the residents' lives and properties.

The NGT's decision to investigate these claims underscores the severity of the environmental risks posed by the alleged illegal sand mining operations in the Damodar riverbed.

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