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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state government to carry out a strict night vigil in order to arrest the illegal extraction of sand in Bardez taluka.

In a case relating to the illegal sand extraction, the NGT’s Western Zone Bench at Pune has directed the directorate of mines and geology, through the police authorities and the Collector North/South Goa, as well as the Captain of Ports, coastal security police, Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) and SP North Goa to conduct strict vigilance during night hours in the area of sea at Arobo in Camurlim.

The NGT has instructed that the authorities mentioned above shall immediately seize vessels used for illegal extraction of sand and the licences be deposited with the Captain of Ports. It has also instructed the state government that necessary police help be provided and, if required, armed police could also be used to dispel the evil elements dealing in the murky business of sand extraction. “The licences of illegally used vessels shall not be renewed or returned to the vessel owners without approval and permission of this Tribunal,” said the Bench.

A petition related to illegal sand extraction at Arobo was filed before the NGT by Saidas R Khorjuvekar.

The NGT has said that considering the fact that the report of the Captain of Ports shows use of canoes for transportation of illegal sand during night time, and having regard to the directions of High Court in Suo Motu Vs State of Goa, through the Chief Secretary (Writ Petition No 1 of 2012), as per order dated September 17, 2012, it is imperative that preventive action ought to be taken by the authorities to arrest the menace of illegal extraction of minor-mineral, including sand.

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