Illegal mining of sand, gravel goes unchecked despite banExtraction of sand, stone and gravel from the rivers in Siraha has been going unabated despite the government ban.
However, illegal mining has been going on unchecked in many rivers in the district, including Kamala, Khutti, Balaan, Gagun, Mainawati, Jhijhir, Sarrey, Bataha, Muksar, Jiba and Kichkiniya.
With the exception of Kamala and Balaan rivers, District Development Office (DDC) had awarded a contract worth Rs 12.6 million for sand and gravel mining to AH Construction Services before the ban was enforced.
But the contractor, Mohammed Abdul Sakur, has been extracting sand and gravel from the rivers, claiming that he has not received any official directive from the DDC about the prohibition.
Admitting that they had not officially informed the contractor, Mahendra Yadav of revenue section at the DDC said that they had not done so as the office employees were in protest.
According to the statistics of the District Forest Office (DFO), 10,364 hectares of the rivers and rivulets in Siraha are covered with stones. One can see a long queue of tractors and tippers transporting sand and stone extracted from many of these rivers. Excavation is also going on under the bridge over the river that falls along the East-West Highway. Authorities have yet to intervene.
Superintendent of Police Purna Chandra Joshi said they were unaware of the government directive. It was only after being enquired by media persons that he sought for the directive from DFO, and directed the police to take action to stop illegal mining.
Meanwhile, the DDC itself has gone against the directive and awarded
tenders for sand and gravel mining. The DDC has awarded contract worth Rs 2.6 million to excavate sand and gravels from 16 streams between Kamala and Balaan rivers.
Call for eviction of illegal settlers
PALPA: Civil society represnetatives, government officials, politicians and journalists in Palpa district have called for taking steps to make the Rastrapati Chure Conversation Programme (RCCP) effective. Claiming that deforestation is still rifie in Chure, they have urged the government to clear the settlements in the region that have been built on public land. The government should enforce stringent measures to implement RCCP, they said during a programme at the Palpa District Development Committee (DDC) on Thursday. The projects under the RCCP in the past have been largely ineffective. About Rs 17.3 million was allocated for Chure conservation in the past three years. (PR)