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This article is more than 1 year old.

NGT seeks govt response on plea challenging notification on mining lease EC

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The amendment exempts mining leases from the requirement of EC for two years, apart from exempting, inter-alia, extraction of earth for linear projects such as roads, pipelines, etc, the plea said.

NGT seeks govt response on plea challenging notification on mining lease EC
The National Green Tribunal has directed the environment ministry to file response on a plea challenging a government notification exempting mining leases from the requirement of environmental clearance (EC) for two years. A bench comprising NGT Chairperson Justice and Justice S P Wangdi asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to furnish its response within one month by e-mail.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Kerala activist Noble M Paikada challenging the March 28 notification which amended the 2006 laws on the need for an EC before undertaking a project impacting the environment. The amendment exempts mining leases from the requirement of EC for two years, apart from exempting, inter-alia, extraction of the earth for linear projects such as roads, pipelines, etc, the plea said.
The counsel for the applicant argued that the EC requirement for mining leases has been laid down by the Supreme Court and that cannot be exempted. With regard to the exemption to extraction of earth for linear projects, the lawyer submitted that there is a condition for exemption nor there is any limit to the extent of such extraction.
Blanket exemption will be against the ’Sustainable Development’ concept, including the ’Precautionary’ principle required to be enforced by this Tribunal under Section 20 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, he said. The apex court in July had dismissed a plea by an NGO challenging the notification saying that development will come to standstill if mining of ordinary earth also needs an EC.
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