The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed Secretary Home and Director Industries to be present before the court on Sep 21, 2016 in a matter pertaining to the alleged illegal mining in the State. During the hearing it was observed by the court that no action have been taken against the persons who are indulged in illegal mining activities, as required under law.
On the statement of Amicus Curiae the court also made Secretary (Industries), State Geologist, H.P., Pollution Control Board, all the Deputy Commissioners and all the Superintendents of Police of all the districts as party respondent in this matter. The Court further directed all the respondents to file fresh status report by or before the next date of hearing.
Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a news item published in the Tribune on 13/08/2016 under the headline “Roads constructed by mining mafia dismantled”.
It was reported in the news that the SDM, Palampur had received complaints from the residents of Sulaha area that illegal mining was going on unchecked in Neugal River near Paror at Palampur which is damaging local paths, water channels, road and cremation ground. It was further reported that the illegal mining was not only resulting in large-scale environmental degradation but also causing loss to the state exchequer as the mining material was being lifted without paying royalty to the State Government.