HYDERABAD: The National Green Tribunal Friday banned mining of quartz and feldspar minerals in Nagarkurnool district in Telangana and directed the Centre to conduct Environment Impact Assessment appraisal as per the EIA Notification of 2006.

A bench comprising Justices Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member S S Garbyal held that mining lease area was reduced from 29 hectares to 24 hectares to escape public hearing and rigours of EIA appraisal by the Environment Ministry in terms of EIA Notification 2006, and subsequent amendments thereunder.

"We are also convinced that the mining is currently being done very close to the Singotham lake, in fact at the edge of the lake, in the absence of any safe distances imposed upon the project proponent for their mining operations.

"We, therefore, direct the MoEF to conduct Environment Impact Assessment Appraisal in terms of EIA Notification 2006, and subsequent amendments thereunder and also to conduct public hearing and impose whatever conditions they may find necessary and appropriate for carrying out mining operation and till then mining operation will remain suspended," the bench said.

The tribunal's judgement came on a plea filed by Telangana resident C Srinivasulu and others alleging non-application of mind by Telangana State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in granting environment clearance on April 11, 2017 for quarrying of quartz and feldspar on 24 hectares to a private mine lease holder of Kalwakole village, Peddakothapally Mandal, Nagarkurnool District Telangana.

The petitioners, through advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, alleged that mining area has been reduced so as to get it examined at State level and to escape more rigorous environmental assessment by the Appraisal Committee of the central government.

The mine lease holder had argued before the NGT that a buffer of 250 metre has been left from the lake boundary to the lease boundary to protect the lake.

It had also produced map of the lease area so as to show that the lake is to the north of the mining lease, whereas the mining is carried out in the south east direction from the south face of the hillock. (PTI)

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