DC Bandipora assures action
Bandipora, Aug 31: Despite a ban on extraction of sand and gravel from the streams across the Union Territory, the illegal sand and gravel extraction is going unabated in various streams in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Locals told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that illegal extraction of sand, gravel and boulders in Madhumati and Arin-Nallahs at several spots was going on from the past few weeks and this clearly shows that there is a nexus between sand dealers and other agencies as no action has been taken against the involved persons.
“The Geology and Mining department as well as the fisheries department were acting as mute spectators over the unlawful extraction from a long period of time and have put a question mark over their functioning.”
They said the officials are allowing the extraction of material including sand and boulders as they are hand-in-glove with the sand extractors. “The government orders are being violated and authorities seem helpless,” they said.
They said that in the past few weeks, scores of vehicles including tippers, tractors and JCB machines were used by the contractors for extraction of sand and boulders from the streams and transport them to other areas in the district.
The locals further stated that these extractors start their work in the evening hours till midnight, using men and heavy machinery by mining sand and gravel and then transporting the same in broad daylight.
“Sand smuggling from rivulets and streams is a regular phenomenon in Bandipora which has not only created problems for the concerned departments but for the general public.”
They said that most of the illegal sand extracted is used for construction activity particularly in the construction of buildings, houses, and government projects as well.
When contracted district development commissioner Bandipora, Owais Ahmad said that they have banned all illegal mining and are acting on any complaint that they receive.
He assured that he would take action if anyone will be found involved—(KNO)