CRZ notification allows manual disposal of sand, as per Karnataka HC rules

Manual sand removal is permitted under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, according to the Karnataka High Court.

A divisional bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe said this while granting relief to a group of 30 temporary permit holders from Dakshina Kannada.

The claimants argued that they are traditionally engaged in fishing and have obtained temporary permits for the removal of sandbanks accumulated on the banks of the river in the Dakshina Kannada district ZCR.

They claimed a seven-member committee issued them temporary permits on May 7, 2022, which are in effect until March 4, 2023, excluding four months during the monsoon between June and September 2022.

The petitioners jointly challenged the order of the District Sand Monitoring Committee dated May 21, 2022, which suspended their license as well as the notices issued on May 23, 2022 by the Deputy Director of Mines and Geology.

They argued that the order had been made in violation of the principles of natural justice insofar as the applicants had not had the opportunity to be heard.

The division bench noted that the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a memorandum dated November 8, 2011, after the state government made a request for permission to remove the benches. sand by the manual method.

The bench further observed that the orders/notices issued against the petitioners were based on a misinterpretation of the order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) dated May 18, 2022.

“It is evident that the NGT was facing an issue of illegal mining in the river bed in the area covered by the Coastal Regulatory Area notification in Udupi district. The aforementioned order of the green court could not have been made applicable to the petitioners who hold temporary permits in Dakshina Kannada, without giving them an opportunity to hear them. In any event, the ordinance adopted by the NGT cannot be interpreted to mean that it imposes an absolute ban on the removal of sandbanks, even by a manual method,” the bench said.

The bench also said that the authorities were free to take appropriate measures to ensure that no illegal sand extraction took place by mechanized means and added that the petitioners should be allowed to remove the sandbanks by a manual method only in terms of temporary permits issued to them.

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