Ahmedabad, May 7: Gujarat High Court has ordered shutting down of 67 sand mining units in the Gir Forest Sanctuary, the only abode of Asiatic lions.
A two-judge bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Jayant Patel and Justice G.B. Shah passed the order on a public interest litigation.
The order came after the Gujarat forest department submitted that the 67 units would not be given ‘No Objection Certificates NOC’ for mining on the banks of Shetrunji river in the Gir forest Sanctuary area.
Lease periods of all 67 units ended in 2014 and their proposals to extend their leases were pending before the state government.
Reportedly, that the Gir sanctuary is protected as an eco-sensitive zone where no construction or development activities can take place in a radius of 10 kilo meters.
However, mining in the Shetrunji river had been going on threatening the existence of wildlife.