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NGT notice to govt over Kosasthalaiyar riverbed sand mining

The southern bench of National Green Tribunal, on Monday, admitted a petition seeking to direct the State government to stop sand mining on Kosasthalaiyar river bed in Tiruvallur district. The petitioner also sought a direction to the authorities to maintain the river and its banks free from contamination and encroachment.

NGT notice to govt over Kosasthalaiyar riverbed sand mining
National Green Tribunal


“There are large-scale encroachments of the river banks by dumping of solid waste, garbage, chicken waste, bio-medical waste etc. The river is surrounded by industries and they are contributing to the pollution by discharging untreated effluents. Earlier, the river was clean and used for numerous activities like bathing, boating, fishing etc., but now the condition has changed,” read the petition. The government is also illegally constructing a garbage recycling plant on the banks of the river and it is located within 100 feet from the well which supplies drinking water to the residents, it further said.

V Rajesh, who filed the petition, contended that though representation has been made regarding the illegal activities by one Rama Reddy of Palayam village in December 2019 and January 2020, no action has been taken.

Admitting the petition through video conference, the tribunal bench comprising judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta issued notice to various government departments.

They also appointed a joint committee comprising the Tiruvallur Collector, and officials from TNPCB, Water Resource Organisation and PWD to inspect the area and violations. The panel will have to file an action taken report, fixing the environmental compensation, within two months.

“If there is any encroachment into the water body or the construction was against the norms, then the committee shall also look into the matter and issue recommendations,” said the bench.

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