National Board for Wildlife approval is a must for carrying out mining activities within 10 km radius of National Parks, Uttarakhand HC
The Uttarakhand High Court (“HC”) has directed the Uttarakhand State Government to ensure that no mining activity is undertaken within a radius of 10 km from boundaries of national wildlife parks in the State without the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.
The above direction of the HC evolved from two writ petitions, which were being heard in the context of illegal mining being carried out near the national wildlife parks without obtaining clearance from the National Board for Wildlife. The State had responded to the petitions with the submission that it had already taken action against such mining activities being conducted in the vicinity of Rajaji National Park, which was declared a tiger reserve in April, 2015.
The HC has directed the State Government to ensure that no mining is being undertaken within 10 km from boundaries of national wildlife parks in the State without the approval of the National Wildlife Board.
This direction is based on the observation that, since heavy machinery and vehicles are used to transport the extracted minerals causing noise pollution in the area, the mining activity in the close vicinity of National Parks causes distress to the wildlife.
Owing to the above scenario, The HC disposed the writ petitions and directed the State Government to ensure that no mining activity is carried out within the radius of 10 km. from the boundaries of all the National Parks including Jim Corbett, Rajaji National Park and other National Parks without obtaining clearance from the National Board for Wildlife.
Source: Uttarakhand High Court