The National Green Court (NGT) has ordered the district magistrate to stop mining in Kapkot tehsil of Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand immediately. The order came after Kailash Singh filed a petition against illegal mining in Sorag village, which was affecting the security of houses, trees, watercourse and grazing land.
The NGT had previously formed a committee consisting of the Uttarakhand Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Board, District Magistrate Bageshwar and Divisional Forestry Officer Bageshwar to provide a factual report and action taken on the matter.
The committee’s report, dated March 17, 2023, admitted that the mining site is just above the town of Ugiyan “where there is a 45-degree slope.” It also acknowledged that 4,000 trees may be affected by illegal mining and grazing land and stormwater drainage in the area may also be affected.
The villagers had been opposed to mining due to the geographic location and the potential for damage. The NGT reviewed the report and said there is no reason to set it aside because of the potential damage from mining in the area.
Mining is a highly destructive and polluting activity that has long-term negative impacts on the environment and human health. It results in soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, and the release of toxic substances into the environment. Mining also disrupts the livelihoods of local communities, who depend on natural resources for their survival.
Illegal mining exacerbates these impacts, as it is often carried out without proper regulation or environmental protection. It is a widespread problem in India, with many illegal mines operating in protected areas, forests and other ecologically sensitive areas.
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