New Delhi, Apr 11 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has granted the “last opportunity” to the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit stating the names of closed industries near Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) in Sonbhadra district.

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore directed the District Magistrate of Sonebhadra to be present before it on April 20, along with relevant records.

“The counsel for the State of UP prays for last opportunity to comply with the order dated March 13, 2018. We grant last opportunity for doing the needful…In case the order passed today is not complied with, then, the officer concerned shall be liable to be saddled with cost. Further, an order restraining operation of all the mines in the area would be passed,” the bench said.

The green panel directed that a copy of this order be sent to the Principal Secretary, Mining, UP government immediately.

On March 13, the tribunal had directed the state government to file an affidavit stating the names of 67 industries which were closed and the respective date of their closure.

It had also asked it to state whether operating mining leases were within 1 km of the boundary of the sanctuary or not.

The counsel for the state government had told the tribunal that at present 67 mining leases had already been closed and 32 mining leases were operational and they were outside the eco-sensitive zone.

The green panel had last year junked a plea challenging the declaration of one-km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of UP.

It had dismissed the plea filed by an NGO on the ground that objections and suggestions were considered by the expert committee for declaration of eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by All India Kaimur People’s Front alleging illegal mining within 1-km of Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Billin Markundi village in Sonebhadra.

Referring to an RTI response, the plea had claimed that there were 118 illegal mining leases in the area.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.