Expert panel to verify govt. report on sand mining in the Krishna

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Posted February 18, 2020

NGT gives it two months time and posts the matter for hearing on May 13

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a team of experts to verify the report submitted by the Andhra Pradesh Government on the damage to the ecosystem of the Krishna due to free sand mining.

The report defended de-silting (dredging) from the river, and sought dismissal of the petition against it.

The NGT’s pdrincipal bench, led by its Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, however, constituted the committee, comprising representatives of the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Central Pollution Control Board, and IIT Dhanbad and Bangalore.

The NGT gave the committee two months time to verify the report validate the observations made, and posted the matter for hearing on May 13.

Study to assess damage

The applicant in the case and NGT advocate, Sravan Kumar, said the tribunal had asked the government to arrange for the conduct of a study to assess the damage done to the avifauna (birds), aquatic llora (water plants) and fauna (animals of water).

The NGT also sought a detailed land survey to estimate the volume of sand required to restore the flood plains, and the cost of restoration at Lingayapalem and Rayapudi, where extensive sand mining had been carried out.

A bathymetric survey of the reservoir (upstream Prakasam barrage) was sought to assess the depth of the mining and current situation in it.

Submitting that various agencies, government and non-government, had been entrusted with the job of conducting the survey, the government asked the NGT to dismiss the original application (OA), which the NGT disregarded.