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NGT orders environmental compensation for illegal mining in Kashmir

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has mandated Danish Yusuf and Rauf Ahmed, two individuals implicated in illegal mining activities in Budgam

By Ground report
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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has mandated Danish Yusuf and Rauf Ahmed, two individuals implicated in illegal mining activities in Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir, to pay interim environmental compensation. The amounts, Rs 7,46,400 for Yusuf and Rs 833,520 for Ahmed, are to be deposited with the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (JKPCC) within two months. This directive comes as part of the NGT’s efforts to address the environmental degradation caused by unauthorized mining operations in the region.

The case, which highlights the ongoing issue of illegal mining in the Budgam district, has prompted the NGT to clarify that the JKPCC will determine the final compensation amount. The funds collected as environmental compensation are earmarked for the ecological improvement, revival, and restoration of the affected areas. A comprehensive rejuvenation plan, to be collaboratively developed by the JKPCC and the District Collector of Budgam, will guide the restoration efforts.

The case is related to illegal mining in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the court has also made it clear that the final amount of environmental compensation will be determined by the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee.

"We find it appropriate to direct JKPCC to proceed to compute environmental compensation by the law, besides taking other prohibitive and punitive action against respondents 5 and 6 and remedial action for rejuvenation and restoration of the damage caused to the environment," it added.             

Apart from imposing environmental compensation as directed by the court, the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee will also take other legal action against these miners. Along with this, the court will also compensate it for the damage caused to the environment and will also take measures for restoration.

Moreover, the JKPCC is expected to pursue additional legal actions against the miners, reinforcing the NGT’s commitment to environmental justice. These actions are not limited to financial penalties but extend to encompass measures for environmental restoration. In line with this, the JKPCC, in conjunction with the District Magistrate of Budgam, has already issued an immediate cessation order for mining activities, adhering to the environmental clearance rules set forth on July 6, 2021.

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