Stone crushers cause huge pollution: NGT

Stone crushers cause huge pollution, degrade environment: NGT

The NGT Principal Bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel made this observation while hearing a plea

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The NGT on Friday observed that stone crushers cause huge pollution and such unscientific mining degrades the environment and authorities concerned must take steps to prevent the destruction of the environment.

The NGT Principal Bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel made this observation while hearing a plea village sarpanch Arti Sharma about pollution caused due to the operation of stone crushers in the Saranoo Tehsil of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is well known that stone crushers have the potential for huge pollution and unscientific mining for such stone crushers further degrades the environment. Statutory safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 need to be followed and monitored by the statutory regulators," the Bench said.

"Violations, being criminal offence under the law, there is need to take preventive and remedial action, including recovery of compensation on ''Polluter Pays'' principle for the past violations till illegal activities are stopped," the Green Bench observed. 

The Bench constituted a joint Committee comprising Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state PCB officials and asked them to look into the grievances.

If any damage is caused to the environment, the compensation may cover not only the cost of mined material but also the cost of restoration and ecological services forgone forever, with an element of deterrence, the Bench said.

According to the applicant, the said stone crushers are located close to the residential area and the Tawi river. The applicant also alleged that crushers were not following norms while operating.