High Court of Gujarat ordered shutting down of 67 sand mines in Gir Forest Sanctuary
The lease period of these 67 units ended in 2014 and their proposals to extend their leases has been pending with the state government since then.
High Court of Gujarat on 6 May 2015 ordered shutting down of 67 sand mining units in the Gir Forest Sanctuary, the only adobe of Asiatic lions. These 67 mining units were ordered to stop operation as their leases were not renewed.
The order was passed by a two-judge bench of High Court comprising Justice Jayant Patel and Justice GB Shah on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Surat city-based citizen Rajkumar Sutaria. The petitioner alleged that illegal mining in the area threatened the lives of the wild animals like Asiatic lions, bears, hyneas and golden jackals.
The order came after the Gujarat forest department submitted that the 67 units would not be given ‘No Objection Certificates (NOC)’ for mining on the banks of Shetrunji River in the Gir forest Sanctuary area.
The Gir Asiatic lion sanctuary is protected as an eco-sensitive zone where no construction or development activities can take place in a radius of 10 kilo meters. But, the mining activity in the Shetrunji River had been going in the area, which threatens the existence of wildlife.
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