The Bombay high court has restrained the Maharashtra government from allowing excavation of sand in drought-hit villages, saying it would cause a shortage of potable water for people and animals.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Rajendra Eknath Dhande, who sought a direction to the authorities to disallow sand excavation in drought-hit Khatgaon village of Karmala taluka in Solapur district.
Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta were of the view that sand excavation in drought-hit areas should be banned totally as it deprives the people of their basic requirement of water.
If sand excavation was allowed in drought-hit areas which were already facing a shortage of potable water, it would result in aggravating the problem, the court said in an order last week.
The judges took into account a certificate issued by the executive engineer of the rural water supply department, zilla parishad, Solapur, which said excavation of sand in drought-hit areas will result in a serious shortage of drinking water for people and animals.
While hearing the petition earlier, the court had issued a notice to respondents on Februrary 21 and made it returnable on February 28, in view of the urgency of the matter.
The petition would come up for hearing again next week.