State

NGT directs Centre for No Fresh Mining in Keonjhar

New Delhi, Oct 30: Expressing a deep concern over environmental and water pollution in Keonjhar district of Odisha, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Centre not to give any fresh permission for mining and expansion of the existing mines in the district.

The tribunal said that the pollution due to mining caused the deaths of wild animals like elephants.

While hearing on a petition filed by Rahul Kumar Agarwal, who alleged that environmental pollution in the district due to mining activities by companies like Sirajuddin and Company, Rungta Mines Limited, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd, Tata Steel Ltd and Triveni Earthmovers, the tribunal issued an interim order asking the central government not to allow any company for mining in the district.

In an interim order, a three-member bench of the NGT, headed by Justice P Jyotishankar, asked the government whether the mining companies operating in the district obey the environmental laws of the land. The next hearing in the case would be on November 24.

While hearing on the petition, the tribunal has served notices to the Union Environment & Forest ministry, Central Pollution Control Board and Odisha government to file status report in this matter.

The court has directed the companies not to discharge polluted water into the rivers and agricultural land that causes health damage.

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