|Geology and Mining deptt plans to auction already disappearing Ravi River|
| Auction in fourth week of August, lobbying at its peak|
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Aug 15: The historical Ravi river, which separates Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab as well as Himachal Pradesh in district Kathua, is on the verge of disappearance due to excessive mining by hundreds of stone crushing units, running at the beds of river.
Despite much damage already done to Ravi river, the Geology and Mining department has once again decided to auction the Ravi river in the fourth week of August, which would ultimately destroy the remains of the river.
Time and again the environmentalists as well as social organizations of district Kathua have raised concern over rampant mining from the Ravi river. "After ban imposed by Himachal government, most of the stone crushing units of Punjab shifted to the beds of Ravi River on opposite bank of Ravi river in district Kathua from Lakhanpur to downstream to Narote Jaimalsingh area. In total violation of the norms, the stone crushing units had engaged heavy earth movers and digging machines, which had taken away trillions of tons of construction material from the river bed", sources said.
They further added that the earth movers had dug up the river bed so deep that even at many places, pits of over 100-150 feet could be found. Due to excessive digging, the river has turned out to be a nullah, with stagnant water in the large pits, which often proved fatal for labourers.
"As per environmental norms, there is a limit to digging of the river bed but in district Kathua, there is no limit on the extent of digging, due to which the Ravi river is on the verge of extinction", the environmentalists said, adding that the department concerned was only bothered about their revenue and have nothing to do with the life of the river as they were also getting huge benefits.
Sources informed that as the mining auction was scheduled to be held in the fourth week of August, lobbying has already been going on at full swing. "A mining baron, who has been taking the mining auction for the last many years had recently held a long meeting with a senior official and it was not transpired what the mining baron discussed with the official", sources said, adding that but it was almost clear that something had already cooked up between the official as well as mining baron.
The Governor administration must take cognizance of the matter and ban mining in the river Ravi without any further delay, otherwise the remaining traces of the river would also disappear from the area, which would ultimately prove detrimental for the people of district Kathua.