Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding stone mining in the eco-sensitive zone of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Darjeeling district, West Bengal, 20/09/2023
Order of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Sumanta Ghosh Vs State of West Bengal & Others dated 20/09/2023.
The matter is related to stone mining and stone crushing business in the Eco-Sensitive Zone of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Darjeeling district, West Bengal. The miner is operating a stone crushing unit in violation of the environmental laws. It is alleged that the stone crushing unit is causing severe air pollution due to the dust which is rising in the course of its mining and operations of stone crusher including crushing, drilling, loading and hauling which are all primary sources of pollutants. It is also stated that the stone crusher unit uses machines such as jaw crushers, roller crusher, cone crushers, impactor, rotopactor etc. which create an immense amount of dust. It is further stated that the stone chips are thereafter transported through heavy vehicles which causes fugitive dust emissions.
The NGT, Eastern Bench directed notice to be issued to the government of West Bengal, Central Pollution Control Board, District Magistrate, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the mining based industry.
The tribunal also directed a four member committee to visit the site and submit its report with regard to the allegations made in the application within three weeks. In case violations are found, the committee shall recommend penalty as well environmental compensation and also suggest remedial measures.