The Supreme Court on Wednesday took strong note of rampant illegal sand mining in Rajasthan and directed the state government, its collectors and SPs to take immediate steps to stop it.

Seeking an action taken report from the state government within four weeks, the bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said illegal sand mining is likely to “damage the environment irreparably”.

The bench, which also comprised justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, also directed the apex court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to look into the issue of illegal sand mining and submit a report suggesting measures to deal with it.

The bench said the CEC would also consider the problem faced by sand traders, transporters and other stakeholders and it will have the authority to summon any person including government officials with the purpose of holding the probe.

The bench said the CEC will submit its report within six weeks. The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions relating to sand mining in Rajasthan. The apex court in 2017 had ordered stopping of illegal sand mining in Rajasthan.

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