Early Times Report
GANDERBAL, Oct 14: Despite High Court orders over the ban of illegal sand extraction from the rivers, but according to locals in several villages, the extraction goes on unabated.
According to sources , in Ganderbal district, there is an unabated extraction of sand and boulders for the construction purpose and people believe that the extraction of sand can also lead to encroachment of flood and irrigation land that is nearby the rivers and streams in the district.
We have many times in past approached the Flood and Irrigation department about the extraction of sand, but the authorities seems unmoved, the contractors, local sand mafias are extracting sand for construction of bunds, walls and houses, sources told early times.
They said that due to the large scale extraction in nallah Sindh, river Jhelum and with the result the walls that are constructed on the banks of these rivulets are meant to prevent floods but that are getting destroyed due to the greed of these sand mafias.
In the past the district administration had started a drive against these sand mafias, but it seems that they have given them some sort of relaxations, that is why illegal extraction of shoal depositions, bed material, sand is going unabated, where as some stringent action should have been taken against the violators, said sources.
They said that locals from different villages of Ganderbal including Gund Rehman, Gadoora, Chappergund, Harran, Hatbarah, Saderbagh, and Tulmulla have made many complaints against the violators but a deaf ear was given to their pleas so for.
Due to the extraction of sand, there is also a huge damage to the trout fish production in the nallah as it is considered to be the most favorable habitat for trout species and other water bodies' animals and birds, sources said.
They said that number of tippers and tractors were seen loading sand by the JCBs in broad daylight while as that is first collected through boats, and unfortunate part of the story is that the officials of the concerned department including Fisheries, and Irrigation and Flood control departments are watching this vandalism.
The High Court has already passed some directions to the concerned officials to act against persons who indulge in such illegal activities.
The department concerned in particular and the district administration should pass the directions to local sand mafias to stop this vandalism so that the nearby areas could be saved from any threat of floods in future, said sources.