NGT notice to Uttarakhand over arbitrary classification of rivers

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: A principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued notice to the Uttarakhand government seeking its response within four weeks on how and under what law the classification of perennial and non-perennial rivers in the state has been changed.

The tribunal has issued notice to the state government seeking clarification on arbitrary classification of rivers or drains into perennial and non-perennial rivers. Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for petitioner Sanjay Kumar, argued before a four-judge bench headed by Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that the state government has unconstitutionally amended the law of river mining to benefit the mining lobby. The standard of retail dumping from the river bed has been reduced from 500 metres to 25 metres, which will encourage illegal mining.

The petition also said that the Uttarakhand government has changed rules in favour of stone crushers, screening plants and ready-mix plants among others to unfairly benefit them and thus failed to maintain the hydrological, ecological and biological quality of non-perennial rivers of the state. The said circumstances not only violate the Environment Protection Act, Water Act etc but also cause damage to non-perennial rivers of the state, hence the said rules need to be quashed, the plea said.

Further, the petitioner has also alleged that the state government has also barred forest officials from collecting transit charges and the said act of preventing forest officials from performing their duty is in violation of the provisions of the Indian Forest Act. 

DEHRADUN: A principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued notice to the Uttarakhand government seeking its response within four weeks on how and under what law the classification of perennial and non-perennial rivers in the state has been changed.

The tribunal has issued notice to the state government seeking clarification on arbitrary classification of rivers or drains into perennial and non-perennial rivers. Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for petitioner Sanjay Kumar, argued before a four-judge bench headed by Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that the state government has unconstitutionally amended the law of river mining to benefit the mining lobby. The standard of retail dumping from the river bed has been reduced from 500 metres to 25 metres, which will encourage illegal mining.

The petition also said that the Uttarakhand government has changed rules in favour of stone crushers, screening plants and ready-mix plants among others to unfairly benefit them and thus failed to maintain the hydrological, ecological and biological quality of non-perennial rivers of the state. The said circumstances not only violate the Environment Protection Act, Water Act etc but also cause damage to non-perennial rivers of the state, hence the said rules need to be quashed, the plea said.

Further, the petitioner has also alleged that the state government has also barred forest officials from collecting transit charges and the said act of preventing forest officials from performing their duty is in violation of the provisions of the Indian Forest Act.