agriculture, Education, Gallery, Karimnagar, National, Telangana

NGT directs Telangana Chief Secretary to take all measures to stop illegal sand mining in river Manair immediately

K M Dayashankar

NGT imposes fine of Rs 25 crore each to the irrigation and mining departments for illegal sand mining in the river 

It also informed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to conduct thorough survey about the volume of sand mined in Manair river and recover the same amount from TSMDC

KARIMNAGAR, MAY 21, 2024: The National Green Tribunal, Southern Zone, Chennai, on Tuesday pronounced saying that the sand mining in the Manair river on the pretext of ‘desiltation’ as ‘illegal’ and instructed the Telangana State Chief Secretary to immediately stop all the sand mining operations across the river Manair in the integrated Karimnagar district.

The NGT had also imposed a penalty of Rs 25 crore each to the Irrigation and Mining departments and instructed them to pay the penalty amount to the Godavari river management board within three months. In turn, the penalty amount should be used for the protection of Manair river and its conservation, the NGT stated.

Stating that there should be environmental clearances for taking up any further sand quarry operations, the NGT directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to conduct a thorough survey and submit a report about how much quantity of sand was removed from the Manair river all these years and the total amount should be recovered from the TSMDC.

Villagers affected by the illegal sand mining of the Manair river during the last few years have formed into Manair Parirakshana Samithi (Manair protection committee) and waged unrelenting crusade against the illegal sand mining operations in Manair river causing huge loss to the farming community and ecology.

Villagers Sandi Surender Reddy, Satish Kumar, N Srinivas Reddy, M Venkat Reddy and others have been fighting to stop the illegal sand mining in the Manair river by approaching the NGT, high court and even Supreme Court. The Manair protection committee members have filed five petitions with NGT stating that the sand mining operation was going on without environmental clearance (EC).

It may be recalled that the NGT had earlier issued interim orders instructing the state government and district authorities to stop the illegal mining operations. But, the authorities in collusion with the ‘sand mafia’ run by then ruling party leaders had allowed the illegal sand mining causing serious loss to the environment and damages to the roads in the rural areas and causing pollution.

Then district authorities had issued permission for sand quarrying for every one kilometre distance and exploited the natural resources without any permission and causing umpteen woes to the farming community and the nature.

Hailing the NGT verdict, the Congress leader and former Jammikunta Agricultural Market Committee chairman T Sammi Reddy had urged Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy to deal firmly against sand mafia encourage by then BRS government causing several problems to the environment. He lauded the relentless crusade by Manair protection committee leaders Surender Reddy, Satish Reddy and Venkat Reddy for the protection of Manair from the sand mafia.


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