This decision, coinciding with International Day for Biological Diversity, was announced at a hurriedly called press conference in the State capital on Monday morning, the chief minister said that it has been decided to impose a total ban on sand mining in river Narmada till a panel of experts submits its report on “scientific mining in the river”.
The chief minister told media-persons that the committee on scientific mining, which may take about four months to submit its report, will be headed by State minister Rajendra Shukla. This committee will coordinate with experts from IIT-Kharagpur to prepare a blueprint for scientific mining in the Narmada River.
The chief minister’s announcement to ban mining in River Narmada comes within days of the demise of Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave, who had said at a brainstorming session linked with the State Government’s Narmada Seva Yatra in the State capital on 8 May 2017: “River Narmada will be left without water if the forests continue to shrink and our ridges and mountains are allowed to be devasted by mining .”
It is therefore significant that Chouhan today recognised the need to express commitment for bringing about some balance between mining and development. While announcing that the State Government will not spare those involved in illegal mining in all other rivers, the Chief Minister said that there is a proposal to promote crushing of stone to meet the demand for sand.