A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swantanter Kumar, also issued a notice to the Ministry of Environment and forests (MoEF) and Uttarakhand government on a plea filed by an NGO seeking a stay on mining of minor minerals on the bed of river Ganga in Haridwar.
    
The plea, filed by NGO Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), has alleged that illegal mining of sand and boulders is being carried out in villages Bishanpur, Goghpur and Kandabhagamal on the bank of Ganga in Uttarakhand.

"The act of illegal mining is not only endangering environment but is also in non-compliance of enactments listed in Schedule I of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010," it said.
    
The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, has also filed photographs showing largescale illegal mining of minerals and contends that mining in these areas is not only damaging the environment and ecology of the river but also affecting the movement of wildlife.
    
According to the plea, a state-level committee, comprising officials of the Environment ministry, had also suggested that the "state government should be asked to stop all illegal mining in the Ganga immediately to avoid any further adverse impact on the surrounding environment."
    
Earlier, the Tribunal had rejected a plea for a complete ban on mining in the Ganga, saying sand collected at the riverbed has to be removed according to "established practice" but this should be done "scientifically and to a limited extent" in order not to damage the river.
    
Demanding a complete ban on mining around the banks of the Ganga, Swami Sivananda Saraswati had also started his indefinite fast at his ashram in Haridwar on March 31.


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