Central zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered closing of mining leases of 18 mines in Betul district approved by the district-level environmental committee on grounds that they were not approved by a competent authority.

Hearing the petition filed by Bhupendra Gupta, NGT bench comprising Justice Dalip Singh and expert member PS Rao has urged collector of Betul to direct mining-lease holders to stop operations with immediate effect. Six out of the 18 mines are currently operational.