The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned stone crushers within 100 metres of the rivers and water bodies in Himachal. The NGT in its order declared stone crushers near river illegal and in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and directed State Pollution Control Board (PCB) to take steps to stop operation of any such crusher and furnish a detailed report before it within two months.

Chairman NGT, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, and Members SP Wangdi and Dr Nagin Nanda observed that “the location of a stone crusher close to a water body is against the principle of sustainable development as well as precautionary principle.”

The Green Tribunal swung into action against stone crushers after it received complaint regarding one such stone crusher at Sajaopiplu village in Sarkaghat of Mandi.

The NGT order would lead to the closure of a number of crushers in most of the rivers and rivulets in the state. Stone, grabbles and sand are easily available on the riverbed and with increasing developmental activities, demand for construction materials, crushers being coming up on rapid pace. And also causing harm to environment and eroding negatively on the state exchequer.