The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy are in for an unexpected shock. This time it is from National Green Tribunal (NGT). It is not about deviations in irrigation projects but it is about the sand mining done by the Andhra Pradesh Mineral development Corporation (APMDC) under the state government. It is said that the mining department of the state has violated environmental norms while doing sand mining!
Earlier, in December last year, NGT had directed the AP government to take action against persons involved in illegal sand mining or exploitation of mines and minerals, by launching persecution, imposing penalty and collecting royalty.
The NGT, Southern Zone, Chennai comprising justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta, while issuing an order on petitions filed by Devineni Rajasekhar and T Srinivas, challenging regulations and notifications by several departments on sand mining, said that no act of sand mining in the guise of desilting or dredging is to be permitted in the river, reservoir, lakes and pond beds.
The NGT joint committee found that AP mining department has violated norms during sand mining in Araniar river at Sururupalli in Chittoor district. The APMDC, which carried out sand mining, has been levied a fine of Rs 1 lakh on contractor PMR Infra for violating the contract terms.
Based on a petition filed by Dasu Manikantaiah, the NGT appointed a joint committee on September 21 to inspect the area and file a report. The petitioner had alleged that sand mining was being done on the river banks without any kind of environmental clearances. The state government wants to defend its act by showing the rules under which it has been conducting sand excavation.
Meanwhile, opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders are criticising Jagan and his government policies for flouting the rules. They said that YSRCP and its leader Jagan had been criticsing TDP rule for having misused sand mining. “But never did the TDP get such snubs from NGT. Without proper knowledge they had criticised and made people believe. Now everyone has understood who is violator, who provided good governance to the people of AP,” said senior TDP leader in Vijayawada.