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NGT aks MoEF to submit list of asbestos mines across country


New Delhi:  The National Green Tribunal has directed the Environment Ministry (MoEF) and Indian Bureau of Mines to submit a complete list of asbestos mines in the entire country with their sttaus.

A bench headed by Justice U D Salvi directed MoEF and the Bureau to inform about the present status of the mines, specifically with regard to their scientific closure and produce complete records in relation to it.

“The MoEF and Indian Bureau of Mines shall file list of asbestos mines located in the entire country and their present status, particularly as regards scientific closure of such mines…. Asbestos mining not only gives rise to asbestos related cancer but also to the asbestosis.

“Even if the asbestos mining activity has been closed, scientific closure of such mines remains in question. Odisha is directed to answer whether the asbestos mines in the state have been scientifically closed or not, and further answer whether there have been cases of asbestosis,” the bench said.

The Tribunal also directed the state governments of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand government to file a report regarding scientific closure of the asbestos mines and the instances of asbestosis in the states.

The matter is listed for next hearing on April 16.

Perturbed by illegal and unscientific asbestos mining across the country, the Tribunal had earlier pulled up the Environment Ministry for providing a “vague and uncertain” response in its affidavit.

The Tribunal was hearing pleas by NGO Environics Trust and Amar Singh seeking directions to appropriate authorities to immediately stop all asbestos mining operations in the country and ensure their scientific closure.

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