Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal mining, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 06/10/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Nanga Ram Dangi VS Secretary, Department of Environment & Forests & Others dated 06/10/2020.

The issue involved in the matter relates to illegal mining in the area around Jaisamand lake, District Udaipur in Rajasthan. The applicant had filed this Application in the year 2014 with the grievance that by illegal mining, serious damage was being caused to the ecology. Illegal mining was happening in eight villages which form the catchment area of the lake. Villages named were Buthel, Bassa, Charmar, Kot, Kharka, Kenpura, Lodha and Utharda. The

Tribunal considered the matter vide order September 19, 2018 and directed the Directorate of Mining and Geology to ensure closing of all illegal mining activities in the catchment area of the lake and give a compliance report to the Tribunal. The matter was thereafter considered in light of the status reports filed from time to time.

The NGT October 6 took up the matter in continuation of the earlier proceedings and also looked at the action taken report September 30, 2020 filed by the IG Police, Udaipur. The report stated that regular touring was being done in the area and also survey through drone.

NGT termed the action taken report as inadequate and lacking in meaningful enforcement of law. The bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and S. P. Wangdi directed the Chief Secretary, Rajasthan to consider appropriate course of action in light of various orders passed by the Tribunal and circulate appropriate guidelines at grass root level, particularly the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police. Electronic Surveillance System said to have been introduced must be reviewed, including requirement of GPS for the vehicles used in transportation and mined materials. There should be CCTV cameras at the hotspots and an App which could be used by any complainant for giving information about illegal activities of this nature. Also a methodology for assessment and recovery of compensation.

The order stressed on community involvement for enforcement of law.