Stop all sand extraction across Maharashtra, high court tells govt
DNA / Mayura Janwalkar / Saturday, September 25, 2010
Taking a serious note of the potential danger to river-beds in the state, the Bombay high court on Thursday ordered all sand extractions in Maharashtra to be stopped immediately. A petition filed by the Sagar Shramik Hatpati Walu Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha, Maryadit, had stated that continuous sand extraction posed serious environmental threats to the river-beds in the state and if ignored, they could lead to flood-like situations in the areas close to the rivers.
In their interim order, the judges observed, "The extraction of sand all over Maharashtra has become a serious issue, posing environmental degradation challenge, thereby causing serious threats of flood or diversion of water flow."
As the state government told the court that it was yet to frame a policy to regulate sand extraction, the court ordered the activities to be stopped with immediate effect. The additional chief secretary (revenue) has been asked to file an affidavit in the case in four weeks. The additional chief secretary has also been directed to immediately inform collectors all over the state about the high court's order.
The division bench headed by justice BH Marlapalle said that the no sand extraction should be permitted until the court's further orders in the case.
The judges further observed in their order,"It is also alleged in a report of former additional chief secretary (revenue) that auctions for sand extraction have resulted in heavy losses to the state treasury. Hence, by way of an ad-interim order, we direct sand extraction all over Maharashtra even on the basis of existing licences be stopped forthwith until further order."
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