Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding mining without valid EC in Gir Somnath and Junagadh districts, Gujarat, 14/11/2022
Judgment of the National Green Tribunal (Western Zone Bench, Pune) in the matter of Protection of Environment and Public Service Committee Vs Union of India & Others dated 14/11/2022.
The matter related to illegal and unauthorized mining of limestone on large scale in districts Gir Somnath and Junagadh in Gujarat by 14 mining companies without any prior Environmental Clearance and in violation of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), November 14, 2022 directed 13 companies involved in the extraction of limestone without valid environmental clearance in the districts of Gir Somnath and Junagadh, Gujarat to pay a total amount of Rs. 7.023 crore (7,02,25,721 crore). Of these, the three companies --- Somnath Hydrated Lime & Chemicals Industries (Gir Somnath), M/s Dhirajlal Panchabhai Vachhani (Gir Somnath) and M/s Noor Mahamad Kalubhai Patani--- account for a little over 41 per cent of the penalty amount (EC) to be paid. Somnath Hydrated Lime & Chemicals Industries (Gir Somnath) has been ordered to pay Rs 1,25,51,933 crore.
The court directed that the amount has to be deposited with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board within a period of two months and will be used for "restitution of environment". GPCB in consultation with the department of Industries and mines shall prepare plan within one month for utilization of the said amount for environmental improvement in the area where these mines were operating, the NGT said.