River sand mining not allowed during rainy season: Karnataka HC

Last Updated : 21 May 2021, 07:36 IST

Follow Us :


The High Court has said that river sand mining is not allowed during the rainy season as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka passed this order on a petition challenging the order issued by the Deputy Director of Department of Mines and Geology in Chamarajanagar in June 2020. The order was granting a quarrying lease to the petitioner in respect of ordinary sand for a period of five years from August 10, 2017.

The petitioner contended that the lease does not provide for prohibition on river bed sand mining activities during the monsoon. He also stated that there is no specific rule under the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994 to restrict the sand mining during the monsoon.

The government advocate submitted that as per Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 issued by the Government of India, sand quarrying for the period of five years will be inclusive of non-quarrying periods like rainy season, flood or any natural calamities.

The bench said that clause 10 of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest specifically lays down that river sand mining should not be allowed in the rainy season. The 2016 guidelines also defined the rainy season and stated that the monsoon in the state of Karnataka is normally from June 5 to October 15.

“The legislature was conscious of the fact that the period of actual quarrying operations could be affected due to rains or floods and therefore, it is provided in Sub-rule 21 of Rule 31-R of the said Rules of 1994 that the sand quarrying permissions shall be up to five years which period shall be inclusive of non-quarrying periods like rainy season, floods and natural calamities,” the bench said.

The court rejected the petition while emphasising that the restriction on quarrying during the monsoon is with the intention of protecting the ecology and environment.

Published 18 May 2021, 16:47 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us