Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding unscientific mining by Centre Rare Earths Limited and Kerala Minerals, Kollam, Kerala, 19/07/2019

  • 19/07/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of News item published in "Indian Express" Authored by Vishnu Varma Titled "17-year-old's video gets Kerala talking of impact of sand mining" dated 19/07/2019 regarding unscientific mining by Centre Rare Earths Limited and Kerala Minerals and Metal Limited along the coastal area of Kollam in Kerala.

Report furnished by the District Magistrate, Kollam and the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to the NGT says that the long-term shoreline changes along the Neendakara- Kayamkulam coastal stretch "shows severe erosion of the mining sites of IREL and KMML. The shoreline retreats are to the extent of 425 m,382 m and 142 m respectively at Vellanathuruthu (IREL mining site), Ponmana (KMML mining site) and Kovilthottam (IREL mining site). During the period of 2000-2019 the shoreline has receded by 243 m,227 m and 57 m respectively at Vellanathuruthu, Ponmana and Kovilthottam mining sites."

"Critical examination of the shift in nearshore depth contours during the 19 year period of 2000 to 2019 utilising bathyrnetric charts prepared by CESSAICESS in 2000, 2010 and 2019 has revealed that there has been a shoreward shift in isobaths particularly the shallow water isobaths of 2-10 m. The extent of deepening of the nearshore areas is more pronounced off Ponmana and Vellanathuruthu indicating severe erosion in the nearshore areas."

Thus, the report shows that mining volumes have far exceeded the sustainable mining quantity proposed.

In view of above, the NGT directs constitution of a joint Committee with representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to determine the amount of compensation to be recovered for damage to the environment by unsustainable illegal mining and this report would be open to the concerned regulatory authorities to recover the compensation by following due procedure of law.

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