The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned digging of earth across the country for making bricks and roads without prior environment clearance. A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani has directed the chief secretaries of all the states and union territories to ensure that its interim order is adhered to.
“We restrain any person, company and authority to carry out any such digging activities of brick earth or ordinary earth against the directives issued by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) of June 24, 2013 in any part of the country without obtaining environment clearance from the competent authority. The chief secretaries of all states/Union territories are to ensure strict adherence to this order,” it said.
The tribunal, while issuing notices to Uttar Pradesh, restraining the UP government from permitting such digging until further orders of the tribunal, made the order applicable to all the states, saying “as the judgment of the apex court, as well as the directives issued by MoEF has got the effect and applicability throughout the territory of India,... what is applicable to respondents (UP government) by our interim order is applicable to all other states and UTs also”.
The ban on brick earth mining comes one-and-a-half months after the NGT banned sand mining from river beds without environment clearance across the country.