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For Immediate Release                                                                                    6thMay, 2015 


Stop Illegal Sand Mining in Sardar Sarovar Areas: 

Jabalpur High Court to GoMP


“Mining leases of lands vested in NVDA is a “colourable exercise” of power


Court directs GoMP, PCB and MoEF to file detailed replies by 12th May: 


Jabalpur: In a significant order today, a Division Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh (Jabalpur Bench) comprising Hon’ble Jst. Rajendra Menon and Jst. Moolchand Garg directed a complete stay on all sand mining operations in the Sardar Sarovar Project affected areas in the state and called upon the Govt. of M.P. to furnish complete details regarding the mining activities in the project areas. 


The Court expressed its serious dissatisfaction at the refusal of the State to furnish the requisite details and categorically ordered that there shall be no further sand mining in the SSP affected areas, until satisfactory information is filed in terms of the previous Orders. The Court found force in the contentions of the petitioners –NBA and noted that the Mining Department could not have granted leases of lands in the SSP areas, once the same have vested in the Narmada Valley Development Authority and if the same has happened, it is in “colourable exercise” of power by the concerned authorities 


On 26/3/2015, the Hon’ble Chief Justice A.M. Khanvilkar issued a specific directive to the Collectors of all the concerned districts tofile affidavit and provide in tabular form the names of lessees, date on which lease permission was granted and date on which the land in respect of which lease has been granted, has been vested in NVDA. Other relevant information also be furnished”.


Despite being granted two extensions on 7/4/2015 and on 22/4/2015, the Govt. failed to provide the information with details as sought for by the Court. Notably on 22/4/2015, the Govt. was directed to file the reply within 3 days, failing which the Court threatened that all sand mining would be stayed. Despite the Court’s severe warning and specific directives, the utter non-compliance of the State came a shock to the Court.


Although a so-called ‘Compliance Report’ was filed on the 25thApril, with regard to sand mining leases in the Badwani and Dhar Districts, the same did not contain, rather  concealed, the details sought i.e. when were the lands in question were transferred to the NVDA, names of lessees and dates of leases. NBA filed a reply and proved with specific examples from different villages as to how land vested in NVDA almost 10-12 years ago has been leased out for mining by the State.


Pleading for the petitioners – NBA and SSP oustees affected by the mining activities, Medha Patkar urged the Court to forthwith stop all the mining activities in the areas, since the same is in gross violation of the directives issued by the Supreme Court, the National Green Tribunal and also constitutes a criminal offence under the Penal Code.


Counsel for the State, Swapil Ganguly pleaded that notwithstanding the fact that the lands have been vested in NVDA, the Govt. of M.P. has sovereign rights with regard to the acquired lands, including grating permissions for mining activities. However, the Court refused to consider the submissions by the State today, in the absence of the specific information sought from previously.


The Court directed the State Government to immediately file a detailed reply with complete information in terms of the Order dt. 26/3/2015. The Pollution Control Board and Union Ministry of Environment and Forests were also directed to filed detailed replies at the earliest. 


The Order was passed in a major PIL filed against the large-scale, reckless sand mining in the Narmada valley, especially the SSP submergence and catchment areas, leading to adverse impacts on the riverine ecology, ground water, reservoir fish and causing major revenue losses to the state exchequer, crores of corruption. The mining also has major impacts on the life-span of the Dam itself. Although the PIL was filed in June, 2013, the first effective order has been issued today, almost 2 full years, during which detailed pleadings have been exchanged between the parties – GoMP, NVDA, PCB and NBA and the PIL was transferred twice from Jabalpur to Indore and back to Jabalpur.


NBA welcomes this Order of the High Court, as a significant check towards arresting the unregulated and unlawful mining in the Narmada valley, by the omissions and commissions of the state agencies, mining department, revenue officials, police as well as the local goons involved. 


The matter has been listed on 12th May for further hearing and orders. Adv. Ashish Srothi appeared for the PCB and Adv. Arpan Pawar appeared for the NVDA.


Mukesh Bhagoria            Bilal Khan         Devram Kanera          Bhagirath Kavche


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मध्य प्रदेश हाई कोर्ट से सरदार सरोवर डूब क्षेत्र में रेत खनन पर रोक |

जबलपुर | 06-05-2015: मध्य प्रदेश हाई कोर्ट के न्यायाधीश राजेंद्र मेनन व न्यायाधीश मूलचंद गर्ग की खंडपीठ ने आज नर्मदा बचाओ आन्दोलन की रेत खनन पर दाखिल याचिका पर सुनवाई की | इसके पहले 26-03-2014 के रोज़ मुख्य न्यायाधीश की खंडपीठ के आदेशानुसार बड़वानी व धार जिलाधीशों को सरदार सरोवर के लिए प्रभावित ज़मीनों का अधिग्रहण कब (दिनांक) हुआ, एन. वि. डी. ए. के नाम नामान्तरण और हक कब दर्ज दुआ तथा वही ज़मीने रेत खनन के लिए खनिज विभाग से कब लीज पर कब दी गयी, इसकी जानकारी तालिका के रूप में कोर्ट में पेश करने के लिए कहा गया था | लेकिन राज्य शासन तथा दोनों जिलाधीशों की ओर से 25-04-2015 को प्रस्तुत किये शपथ पत्र में यही जानकारी न देते हुए केवल धरमपुरी, कुक्षी, मनावर, बड़वानी और ठीकरी तहसीलों की ज़मीने, सर्वे न. और क्षेत्र डूब प्रभावित होने की बात तालिका के रूप में दी गयी |

यह जानकारी देने के लिए पहले तीन बार  तारीख आगे बढाने के बावाजूद 26-03-2015 के आदेश का पालन न होने से न्यायपीठ ने सख्त भूमिका ली | मा. मुख्य न्यायाधीश के 26-03-2015 के आदेश अनुसार, एन.वि.डी.ए. के नाम पर दाखिल डूब प्रभावित, अर्जित भूमि को खनिज विभाग द्वारा लीज पर दिए जाने की कार्यवाही अधिकारों का गैर उपयोग होने की बात प्रथम दर्शनी मंज़ूर की गयी थी, उसी के मद्देनज़र यह जानकारी उपलब्ध करने तक सरदार सरोवर डूब क्षेत्र में रेत खनन का कार्य तत्काल रोकने का सख्त आदेश न्यायपीठ ने आज पारित किया |

नर्मदा बचाओ आंदोलन इस आदेश का स्वागत करता है | नर्मदा नदी तथा पर्यावरण पर गहरा विनाशकारी असर लाने वाला अवैध रेत खनन रोकना ज़रूरी है |

अगली सुनवाई शासन से पूरी जानकारी दाखिल करने पर 12 मई को होगी | मध्य प्रदेश प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडल तथा केन्द्रीय पर्यावरण मंत्रालय को आदेशित किया गया की वह तत्काल 26-03-2015 के आदेश का पालन करते हुए शपथ पत्र दाखिल करे |

नर्मदा बचाओ आन्दोलन की ओर से मेधा पाटकर ने मीरा बेहेन की सहायता से पैरवी की | मध्य प्रदेश शासन की ओर से स्वप्निल गांगुली, प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडल की ओर से आशीष श्रोत्रि ने व एन.वि.डी.ए. की ओर से अर्पण पवार ने पैरवी की |

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