SHIMLA: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 30 quashed the consent granted to the stone crushers within the area of 100 metres from water bodies in Himachal Pradesh, declaring it illegal and in violation of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
The NGT, in its order, said, “The consent granted by the pollution control board to any stone crusher within 100 metres of a water body stands quashed”. It was given by the NGT Chairman, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, and members SP Wangdi and Dr. Nagin Nanda.
The court observed that “The location of a stone crusher close to a water body is against the principle of sustainable development as well as precautionary principle.”
The court ordered that the board should take steps to stop operation of any such crusher and make a detailed report before it within two months.
NGT’s order could lead to the closure of a number of crushers. The Industry Department has given permission to 347 crushers of which 121 are lying closed for various reasons and violation of the norms.
An official of the Industry Department said, “Though we have yet to start the process of closure, such crushers will be directed to stop operations at the earliest in compliance with the NGT order.”
The court observed, “It has been noticed that stone crushers are operating without the consent and illegal mining was also taking place.”