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MP CM Shivraj Chouhan Calls For Immediate Ban on Illegal Sand Mining

Patel, who has been side-lined from mainstream politics ever since his family’s name cropped up in the murder case of a youth in Harda, had approached NGT bench in Bhopal on Saturday.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:May 22, 2017, 8:39 PM IST
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MP CM Shivraj Chouhan Calls For Immediate Ban on Illegal Sand Mining
File photo of MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Bhopal: Under pressure from various quarters over unhindered illegal mining in the Narmada riverbed, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday announced a moratorium on mining of sand in the river, till further orders.

No kind of machines are to be used for quarrying of sand in river Narmada or any other river in MP, CM Chouhan said on Monday. He also claimed that vehicles confiscated by government agencies on the charges of illegal mining won’t be released from now on.

A committee, led by mining minister Rajendra Shukla and comprising of IIT-Kharagpur experts, has been set up to look into the illegal mining issues, the CM said. Sand mining from other rivers would continue as before, CM Chouhan clarified.

For doing away with dearth of sand once the moratorium comes into effect, stone crushing units would be introduced and these units would be exempted from royalty for three years, said the chief minister, adding that over six crore saplings would be planted on Narmada riverbanks as a part of a special drive.

The announcement comes a day before the central zone bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) takes up former Shivraj cabinet minister Kamal Patel’s application on illegal mining of sand in Narmada in Harda district.

Patel, who has been side-lined from mainstream politics ever since his family’s name cropped up in the murder case of a youth in Harda, had approached NGT bench in Bhopal on Saturday.

The state government is under immense pressure ever since CM Chouhan anchored the Namami Narmade Yatra in the state with the aim to conserve the river.

The opposition, including Congress and AAP, alongside volunteers like Narmada Bachao Andolan convener Medha Patkar have time and again accused the BJP government of sheltering and abetting illegal sand mining in Narmada catchment areas.

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