Use of JCB’s , L&T cranes in Riverbed Mining

 NGT constitutes joint committee, seeks factual report



New Delhi June 7th(KNS): In a fresh case the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered for the constitution of a joint committee and sought a detailed report from Govt with regard to use of heavy machinery like JCB’s and L&T cranes in riverbed mining in Kashmir.


A recent petition filed by social activist Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat in before the NGT says that Environmental Clearances have been granted for undertaking riverbed mining in Doodh Ganga, Rambiara and Ramshoo streams flowing through three districts of Budgam, Pulwama and Shopian.




The petition says that Environmental Clearances for the 6 mining locations have been granted on the basis of the condition that mining will be undertaken manually with minimal support from mechanized methods and no heavy machinery can be used.




The NGT bench of Justice Sudhir Aggarwal and Dr Senthil Vel (Expert Member) took up only the illegal riverbed mining case pertaining to district Budgam and asked the counsel of the petitioner Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat to file separate applications for other two districts.




 “In our view, on the issue raised before us, it will be appropriate to obtain a factual report, for the purpose whereof, we constitute a joint Committee comprising  Pollution Control Committee J&K, State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority- SEIAA, Director, Geology and Mining Department and District Magistrate, Budgam. The factual and action taken report shall be submitted within two months . A copy of this order be forwarded to State PCB; SEIAA J&K, Director, Geology and Mining Department and District Magistrate, Budgam by e-mail for compliance” reads the NGT order issued on May 29th


The petitioner in his application had said that JCB’s and L&T cranes were being used for riverbed mining by project proponents in Doodh Ganga, Rambiara and Ramshoo nallah which goes against the J&K Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2016  and guidelines of J&K State Environment Impact Assessment Authority-SEIAA.


 Pertinently the Specific Condition No. 53 of JKSEIAA reads as:


“Mining shall be done manually minimally supported by semi-mechanized methods. Heavy machinery like JCBs, L&T hydraulic excavators etc. should not be allowed.”




“I have been requesting the Govt of J&K , Geology & Mining Secretary, District Magistrates , DMOs and Police authorities that JCB’s , L&T Cranes can’t be used for extracting sand , boulders , gravel , bajri and other riverbed material. They failed to act even after my repeated requests in the past. The use of this heavy machinery is totally banned as per the Minor Mineral Rules 2016 and JK State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority -SEIAA guideline. This isn’t coming to a halt. Infact Geology & Mining Department gave a clean chit to Project Proponents/ Contractors of Doodh Ganga in a report filed before NGT in another case. I will contest that also and expose the nexus between the Mining Department and so called Project Proponents. The Mining Department is targeting local lorry and truck drivers by levying huge penalties on them under the garb of Environmental Compensation, but no action is being taken against the erring project proponents who are the main violators. I was again forced to seek intervention of the Hon’ble NGT” said Dr Raja Muzaffar the petitioner(KNS)

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