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Illegal sand mining 'destroying' environment in Bhavnagar despite Green Tribunal order

Counterview Desk 

Senior activists Rohit Prajapati Krishnakant of the environmental NGO Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have asked the Central government authorities to tell the Gujarat government to take immediate steps to stop illegal sand mining which is contaminating and degrading ground water, rivers, lakes, check dams, other water resources in the state's Bhavnagar distict.
In a letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Union of India, with copies to concerned officials of the Gujarat government, they  says, the authorities in the state should ensure emptying of the check dams at Mithivirdi village, Bhavnagar district, filled up by the sand mining activities and these must be restored properly and immediately.
“It is distressing to inform you repeatedly that even after visit dated April 20 and May 7 by the representative of the district collector, Bhavnagar the sand mining continues as if they were given permission to do that and were assured protection of their illegal sand mining activities”, the letter says, adding, “Now the credential and power of the concerned authorities is at stake.”
The letter cites concerned authorities the National Green Tribunal (NTG) order dated February 26, stating there should be "compensation assessment for damage to the environment", insisting, "Unless tackled seriously, damage to the environment will continue."
Pointing towards the need for replenishment studies, mine closure plans, assessment and recovery of compensation, seizure and release of vehicles involved in illegal mining and other safeguards against violations", the letter says, the NTG order also talked of "grievance redressal, accountability of the designated officers and periodical review at higher levels" for this. 
Pointing out that "sand mining is known for its rampant and illegal extraction of sand" in the Bhavnagar district's coastal areas which, in turn, plays "havoc with the ecosystems and local communities", the letter insists, "Local authorities should use drones to locate the illegal sand mining sites and even determine their quantities." 
The letter concludes, "We expect your prompt and positive response in the interest of life, livelihoods, and environment. If you fail in your duties, you, as the concerned authorities, will be individually and collectively held responsible for the present and future dire conditions and be liable for any future legal and other consequences."

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