Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

PHC seeks strict action against illegal stone crushing

High court directs strict action against 'illegal' crushing plants

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered stern action against stone crushing plants in Mardan over polluting environment.

During the hearing of a case, the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan said the KP mines and mineral department has issued “illegal mining leases” which has created severe environment problems. The chief justice remarked that stone crushing plants have been set up near residential areas which spread respiratory diseases.

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Deputy Commissioner Mardan Habibullah informed the court that operations have been carried out in the light of court orders and several illegal crushing plants have been sealed. District Police Officer Mardan Zahidullah also informed the bench that so far 70 FIRs have been registered of which 18 FIRs have been registered this year, while 21 persons have been arrested for illegal stone crushing plants and polluting environment.

The lawyer of the crushing plant owners told the court that they have legally leased the crushing plants, and their plants are at a safe distance of 700 meters from residential areas, but they are still being closed by the administration. On this, Deputy Commissioner Mardan said that all the matters being monitored in accordance with the law and the crushing units at the required distance from residential areas will be re-opened. On this, the Chief Justice remarked, “We do not want to shut down anyone’s business but will not allow anyone to play with human health and spoil the environment.”

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The court directed Deputy Director Environmental Protection Agency Mumtaz Ali to visit the area and check whether the SoPs are being implemented or not. The hearing of the case was adjourned till May 17.

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