VIJAYAWADA: Dissatisfied with the report and submissions made by the State government in the illegal sand mining case, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a committee to undertake an independent assessment on the illegal sand mining in River Krishna. It asked the committee to furnish its findings in two months and posted the matter to May 13 for further hearing.
The committee comprises the members of expert appraisal committee of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), representative of Central Pollution Control Board and representatives from IIT, Dhanbad, and IIM, Bengaluru.
The bench led by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on Friday, heard the arguments related to the application filed by Anumolu Gandhi alleging illegal sand mining near N Chandrababu Naidu’s house in Undavalli.
According to information, the State government defended the ‘desiltation’ activity claiming that it was in the interest of Amaravati capital project, agriculture and others. However, the NGT was not satisfied by the submissions of the State and questioned as to what action the latter initiated to address the damage already caused due to unscientific mining.
Sources said that the report submitted by the State government, which undertook a bathymetric survey to assess the ecological impact of sand mining, by an independent body. While Sravan Kumar appeared as the applicant’s advocate, Andhra Pradesh was represented by Venkataramani and GN Reddy.
It may be recalled that the NGT had slapped an interim penalty of Rs 100 crore on the State for ‘failing’ to control the ‘illegal’ sand mining. Later, the Supreme Court stayed the NGT order.