|Illegal sand extraction continues unabated at various streams, rivulets in Bandipora|
|S Tahir-ul Haq|
Early Times Report
BANDIPORA, July 16: Despite a ban on extraction of sand and boulders from streams across the state, the illegal sand extraction continues unabated at various places across the state streams especially in Bandipora district thus disturbing the ecology of the area.
Sources said illegal extraction of sand in Zalwanmerg and Sekibeti area was going on from past few days, and this clearly shows that there is a nexus between sand dealers and other agencies.
The irony is Geology and Mining Department is silently watching the unlawful extraction from a long period of time and has put a question mark over their functioning. While as the sand mafia is jeopardizing the lives of the residents of Watapora, Laharwalpora and its adjoining areas by excavating sand in the name of so called dredging, said sources.
Sources said that, in the past week, dozens of tractors, were seen stripping the river beds of the mineral wealth daily from un-auctioned sites, close to several important bridges, despite repeated ban orders by the respective district administrations across the state.
Following incessant rains in past month heavy extraction of sand and boulders is going on in streams, a few of which are famous for the trout fish, said sources.
While as sources maintained that residents of various areas are suffering from diseases such as jaundice and gastroenteritis due to consumption of contaminated water from the rivulets. Heavy vehicles, including tippers, tractors and JCB machines, are mainly used by contractors for extraction of sand and boulders from the streams and transportation to other areas in the district.
Sources alleged that illegal sand extraction is rampant all over the state. Supporting the illegal activities against public interest and the government is silent over these issues and from other side they failed to put a blanket ban on illegal sand mining.
Sand smuggling from rivulets and streams is a regular phenomenon in Jammu and Kashmir, which has not only created problems for the concerned departments but for the general public.
Most of the illegal sand extracted is used for construction activity particularly in the construction of buildings, houses, and government projects as well, official added.
The official claimed that there was no difference between extraction on the permit issued by the department and illegal activity as sand mining brought in tremendous profit, and the higher authorities are requested to take note of this illegal practice of sand extraction, sources added.