Gujarat High Court Bans 67 Sandmining Units in Gir Lion Sanctuary

Prompted by a PIL, the Gujarat High Court on Thursday ordered immediate shut-down of 67 sandmining units in the vicinity of Gir sanctuary where census of lions was undertaken till Wednesday.

The order to ban sandmining in Gir, the only sanctuary for Asiatic lions, came from the two-judge bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice GB Shah after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by environmental activists.

The lease of sandmining for these 67 units in the Shetranj river ended in 2014 but they continued operations without obtaining NOC from the authorities.

The PIL filed by Surat-based activist Rajkumar Sutaria alleged that mining activities are continuing in the area despite statutory ban on it owing to the protection of Asiatic lions and other species in the Gir sanctuary.

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