The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has decided to take appropriate remedial action on a plea claiming illegal mining by BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh in some villages of the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh. It has also formed a panel to look into this matter in detail.
The petition has alleged that Singh, the MP from Kaiserganj, was carrying out “illegal mining” in the Gonda district. This was being done in the Majharath, Jaitpur and Nawabganj villages of the Tarbganj tehsil of the district.
The plea also alleged that damage was caused to the Patpar Ganj bridge and roads by overloaded trucks. It added that “illegal transportation of extracted minor minerals by overloaded trucks numbering more than 700 every day and illegal storage and sale of minor minerals measuring about 20 lakh cubic metres” was being carried out.
“Prima facie, the averments made in the application raise questions relating to the environment… In view of the averments made in the application, we consider it appropriate that a joint committee be constituted to verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action,” a bench of judicial member Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and expert member A Senthil Vel said on Wednesday.
The tribunal also directed the stakeholders to form a joint committee made up of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control (UPPCB) and District Magistrate, Gonda.
It further directed the committee to “undertake visits to the site, look into the grievances of the applicant, meet within one week, associate the applicant and representative of the concerned project proponent, verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action by following due course of law and giving the opportunity of being heard to the project proponent.”
The tribunal asked the committee to particularly clarify on compliance with the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016, and Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining, 2020, including “remediation/rehabilitation of mined areas and damage caused to river Saryu.”
The matter has been posted for further proceedings on November 7. Additionally, the tribunal has directed that the factual and action taken report be submitted within two months.
This is just another controversy in which Brij Bhushan Singh is embroiled. He has been accused of alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers as well.