The District Magistrate,
Subject: Information Regarding Stopping of mining from river bed(Ganga), cutting of trees and construction of road from kankhal to downstream of Pious River Ganga as announced by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand in a public meeting held on 01-012-2012 at Haridwar.
I have to draw your kind attention towards the few following facts for your consideration and proper orders:-
1- That in past licence was issued for crushing stone to Himalaya Stone Crusher in Kumbh Mela Area, subsequently when the matter came to the notice of the government, the government after thorough consideration glancing at various provisions of law as also the damage and ruin to Kumbh Mela Area licence issued for stone crusher was stopped. Himalaya Stone Crusher getting information of stoppage of the licence filed a Writ Petition bearing number 2137 of 2010 in the Hon’ble High Court of Uttarakhand and the Hon’ble Court issued interim order on 29-12-2010 allowing the Himalaya Stone Crusher to continue its work.
2- Matri Sadan, a pious institution, filed SPA No. 03 of 2011 against the said impugned interim order passed by the Hon’ble Single Judge, which was placed before the division bench consisting Hon’ble Barin Ghosh the Chief Justice and the Hon’ble Sarvesh Kumar Gupta Justice, who after full hearing delivered a detailed order on 26th of may 2011 quoting several judgments of the Supreme Court showing the necessity and needs of the environmental pollution as also damage the environment and ecology in comparison to the adherence to the principle of sustainable development and concluded that the courts are required to balanced developments needs with the protection of the environments and ecology.
3- That Hon’ble Justice further observed in the judgment:-
“(i) Due to consistent digging and mining in the Ganga by this crusher including other crushers (those have already been closed being not so mighty & influential), the Ganga has become deepened, as a result, the million of acre surrounded land has lost its water level which has been gone deep with the result that irrigation activities through borings, tubewells in the agricultural surrounding fields have been very adversely affected. Even Handpumps in the surrounding rural areas to provide drinking water to the common people have been without water in their borings. The private handpumps as well as public boring handpumps are bound to be made more & more deep time and again at the cost of vast expenses and even after making them more deep they are unable to yield any water.
(ii) Before the activities of crusher in the area, the agricultural produce was of good quality but being adversely affected by the air pollution (as the dust emanates from the running of the crushers), the agriculture production has been reduced to the nullity and so is the case with surrounding abundant orchards especially of mangoes, making farmers helpless selling their agriculture land. Needless to say the buyers of the land are the persons like the petitioners, crusher owners as well as builders.
(iii) The crusher owners do not maintain the timings of running of their crushers as prescribed under the rules and run their crushers from the morning 04.00 a.m. to night 11.00 p.m. It causes high noise pollution for the wild animals, which are amply populous in the surrounding jungles as well as Rajaji National Park and by this noise pollution they are forced to make their way in the standing agricultural crops to ruin the same.
(iv) The culvert constructed by the Government for the welfare of the farmers have been cracked and dismantled due to heavy load vehicles carrying the boulders on account of illegal mining. This adversely affects the farmers for transportation of their own agricultural produce.
(v) The heavy vehicles transporting the boulders for the crushing pass through the bridge, which has been constructed by Irrigation Department, Haridwar to save the area from the flood in the Ganga River. This bridge has been damaged and is being consistent damaged to make it ruin altogether. If this bridge is ruined then it may cause a great insecurity at the time of flood in Ganga river. This illegal mining which is the result of this closely located crusher has caused soil erosion in a very large area running parallel at the edges of flowing Ganga. This sand erosion has reduced the agricultural land and destroyed the forest to make all nearby villagers landless. From a time immemorial, there existed a burial ground of nearby village Ajeetpur at the bank of Ganga but due to this illegal and unscientific mining of the crusher owners, the strong current of Ganga can wipe out place of burial ground at any time. In Ajeetpur village, their exists a temple of Bal Kumari, famous peeth for a time immemorial attracting annual fair has reached to the state of danger in its existence due to this illegal and unscientific mining, this temple for its beautification attracted the attention of Chief Minister of State Sri N.D. Tiwari as well as Tourist Minister Sri T.P.S. Rawat (as they then were) and the Government made the funds available to raise its glory. There is every possibility that this temple building may also be wiped out due this illegal and unscientific mining. The surrounding forests which are enriched with the trees of “KHER” and “SHISHAM” have very furious and adversely affected due to this irresponsible mining activities which goes to the extent of 25 to 40 feet deep in river Ganga and due to soil erosion innumerable SHISHAM and KHER trees have been ruined. The wood of these trees is illegally taken away by labours of these crusher owners. As a result, the forest, which was adjoining through the periphery of Haridwar before almost 15 years now has been vanished leaving only the trees which can be counted on fingers. Nearby village Ajeetpur, Misharpur and Katarpur have faced such abundant mining within 15 years as to ruin them from all corners.
(vi) The continuous running of this crusher and illegal mining have created Air pollution, another problem and it is even against Mining Policy, 2001 as amended by Government on 05.11.2007 that these Crushers should be at least 5 Kms away from any Aabadi, School or college, hospital, temple and Ganga, but this petitioner’s crusher only is in very close vicinity of above named institutions.
(vii) Due to dust which remains in the Air every time due to crushing of the stones is causing so many diseases to the nearby villagers affecting their respiratory system very adversely and making them patient of Asthama and T.V. etc.
(viii) 11,000 Watt Power line has been drawn for this crusher over the grazing ground of the nearby Gram Panchayat without its permission causing an alarmingly risky situation for grazing animals of local villagers.
(ix) Even Crusher owners on the strength of their muscle power and high contacts, have occupied the land of nearby farmers as adverse possessory and the same land is being used for ‘crusher’. Even the villagers are unable to get their land demarcated by the Revenue Officials as against these mighty crusher owners.
(x) The manufactured sand/bajri from this crushers transported through road which is meant to the villagers for their agriculture and routine purpose, this sand being over loaded used to fall from the vehicle making the entire road damaged with a result that even the two wheelers find them in difficulty to use this road, some times causing accident even the death of few as an outcome.
(xi) Likewise several other cause of concern are the natural outcome of the running of this crusher and illegal mining which have been highlighted not only by the Saints of Matra Sadan Ashram but by several and several surrounding villagers through social activists.”
4- That there Lordships of the Hon’ble Court have further observed in view of article 48(A) and 51(A) of the Indian Constitution dealing with “Environment, Forests and Wild life” and further quoting the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in state of Gujrat v/s Mirzapur Moti Kuraishi Kasab Janat(2005) 8 SCC 534, 567 “These three subjects have been dealt with in one article for the simple reason that the three are interrelated. Protection and improvement of environment is necessary for safeguarding forests and wildlife, which is turn protect and improve the environment, Forests and wildlife are clearly interrelated and interdependent. They protect each other”. And has further observed quoting the judgment of Tripathi v/s State of AP Reported in (2006) 3 SCC 509, 576 has observed that:- “Art. 48A of the Constitution mandates that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Art.51A of the Constitution enjoins that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India, inter alia, to protect and improve the national environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. These two articles are not only fundamental in the governance of the country but also it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws and further these two articles are to be kept in mind in understanding the scope and purport of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution including Arts. 14, 19 and 21 and also the various laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures”. And thus there Lordship allowed the Appeal with cost and interim order dated 29-12-2010 was vacated.
5- That This pious institution Matri Sadan has been resisting for running of these crusher in order to advance the duty cast upon the state by Article 51(A)(g) of the constitution envisages that it is duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the national Environment including Forests, Lakes, Rivers, Wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. This fundamental duty has been inserted in the constitution of India by way of its popular 42nd amendment of 1976 and the Hon’ble Apex Court has also reiterated these duties of the citizen in a number of judgments like state of Bihar v/s Kedar Sao reported in AIR 2003 Supreme Court 3650 in which there Lordships have been pleased to observe that if any citizen, may he be a saint even, takes the lead in the society in order to furtherance of the objective envisaged by Article 51(A)(g) it should be appreciable and complimentary by the society at large.
6- That so far conferring powers of trees(fruit) to the Udyan Vibhag as has been announced by the Hon’ble Chief Minister is concerned it is most humbly submitted that chief minister is none to take any such decision, that too in a public meeting which has been enacted by legislature or assembly at local level by a cabinet decision, thus it is an evident that a decision to be taken by cabinet cannot be taken by the Hon’ble Chief Minister alone and as such this announcement has got no legal stand and cannot be acted upon.
7- That the third announcement made for construction of road on the embankment of the pious river Ganga at Kankhal is concerned it is submitted that in view of the observation of the Apex Court no fresh construction can be made within 200 meters from the pious river Ganga and that announcement too is against the law of the land and can not be acted upon. Needless to state that this announcement has been especially made to damage the environmental, eco, peace and calm of the saint’s Ashram and especially of Matri Sadan, who has been opposing the illegal activities of the government.
8- That surprisingly just after announcement which has been made on the proxy of mining mafias mining has been started and this pious institution Matri Sadan is duty bound to observe peaceful agitation by observing continuous fast. Needless to state that this institution has sacrificed two saints for the holy river Ganga which could not quench the thirst of the administration coupled with the government and perhaps again attempts are being made to damage to institution by taking lives of other saints.
9- That it seems necessary note here that in response to the queries made under the provision of RTI act – 2005 petitioner received letter no : 93/Sa.Na.Vi./P.S./2012 dated 10th September 2012 by which Dr. Umakant Pawar Secretary Uttarakhand administration Nagar Vikas Vikash Vibhag assured the applicant that extension of Kumbh Mela Area is of utmost consideration of the government but since it relates to several departments some delay is being caused and the moment it is finalized the DM would be intimated. The Copy of the letter is annexed herewith for your perusal. As demanded in Kumbh Mela 2010 administrative reports Kumbh Mela Area would be increased to ahead of Bhogpur. So protection and preservation of this area is paramount.
10- That for the ends of justice as also to maintain the dignity of the observation of the Hon’ble Courts, which is the law of the land it is expedient that the announcements made by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand may not be acted upon and if any hindrance appears a clarification be invited from the government to skin off from the contempt of court acts beside that in view of the government order No.2384/vii-i/ii/2011 dated 05 December 2011by which mining and crushing had been stopped till the submission of Environment Impact Assessment report. The copy of which is annexed herewith for perusal.
Under the circumstances your goodness is requested to look into the matter and obey the observations of the Hon’ble Courts as also the order of the government given through the secretary as referred above and keep the announcement aside.
With due respects.
Matri Sadan, Haridwar.
1- Smt. Sonia Gandhi Ji, the Hon’ble President AICC, New Delhi.
2- Hon’ble Rahul Gandhi Ji, Secretary AICC, New Delhi.
3- The Hon’ble Central Minister, Environment & Forest, New Delhi.
4- Shri Vijay Bajuguna Ji, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Dehradun.
5- The Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun.
6- To the Secretary, Department of Industrial Development, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun.
7- The Secretary, Forest & Environment Department, Gobvernment of Uttarakhand, Dehradun.
8- The Commissioner, Garhwal Mandal, Pauri.
9- SDM, Haridwar, Dehradun.
Matri Sadan, Haridwar.
Annexures : As mentioned above.
1- A letter dated 10-09-2012 of Principal Secreatry, Uraban Development Department, Uttarakhand Governemnt.
2 A Government Order dated 5 December 2012 by which mining and crushing was stopped till submission of Environmental Impact Assessment report of concerned Area Bishanpur & Bhogpur.