December 2, 2021

Karnataka High Court inquires state govt about whether sand mining in CRZ is ready for study

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The High Court has issued an order to the state government to announce as to whether it is willing to organize a study on the grant of temporary permit to extract sand from the coastal regulation zone. The PIL was pertaining to sand mining permits at Phalguni river located in the Dakshina Kannada.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka had directed for the PIL which was lodged by Franky D’Souza and nine others coming from Mangaluru. The petition goes against issuance of temporary permits adhering to sand mining  located on the river banks of Phalguni river at Kenjar, Thukur and Malavoor villages.

During the last hearing, the court had witnessed about none of the three provisions under the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994 (Rule 31-ZA, Rule 31-ZB and Rule 31-ZB-A) deliberate grant on temporary licenses for sand mining. The court had also mentioned that no temporary licenses for sand mining shall be permitted contrary to the regulations.

Amid the court hearing that happened on February 25, the government advocate presented a submission iterating the permission pertaining to sand removal from the coastal regulation zone, which can be permitted under Rule 31-ZB with respect to the office memorandum which is dated November 8, 2011.

The court stated, “The question is whether the state is under an obligation to make a study through experts on the issue of grant of permissions for removal of sand causing damage to the environment and affecting the traditional occupations of the villagers. The state government will make a statement before the court on the next date whether it is willing to conduct the study through an expert agency and whether it is willing to make a statement that till such a study is not completed, no further licences shall be issued.”

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