Kanpur: Setting a three-week deadline to Uttarakhand government, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday warned that if it did not stop illegal sand mining in the Ganga within the stipulated  time, action would be taken under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act.

"The Uttarakhand government has (so far) demonstrated reluctance to take action against illegal mining. We will have no option but to invoke Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act and take action at our own," Ramesh said.

Section 5 of the Act gives the Centre "power to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry".

The Union Minister, who was here to launch a new green technology, said the Centre has written to the Uttarakhand government asking it to stop the illegal sand mining in the stretches of Ganga river. "We have, however, not received any response till date," he said.

Ramesh warned the BJP-ruled state that the Centre will stop the mining in the river if there is no reply within three weeks.

Incidentally, Swami Nigamanand, who was fasting for nearly four months demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in the Ganga died last Monday.