HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday granted stay on sand mining in the state with effect from April 1. The government was looking at revenue aspect only, and failed to act when the contractors were digging minerals beyond the notified area. What happens to the state’s minerals if the situation continues, it remarked.
A division bench of the High Court comprising chief justice Madan B Lokur and justice Noushad Ali while dealing with a writ petition which sought direction on the alleged illegal sand quarry operations in Amaravathi mandal of Guntur district, pointed out that authorities were not interested in protecting river beds or environment or assess impact of digging and quarrying of sand. It posted case for hearing to April 6.
The bench ruled that “We have no option but to restrain the respondents from giving any sand mining lease to any person with effect from April 1 without taking permission of this court. We expect the official respondents to comply with this order strictly.
If there are any auctions that are pending or proposed to be held they shall automatically remain stayed.
This order will be applicable throughout Andhra Pradesh,’’ it said.