Court bans mining in Kaligandaki RiverA court order issued Saturday directed local administrative offices in Baglung, Myagdi, Parbat and Mustang districts to immediately stop mining activities in Kaligandaki River using heavy equipment.
A court order issued Saturday directed local administrative offices in Baglung, Myagdi, Parbat and Mustang districts to immediately stop mining activities in Kaligandaki River using heavy equipment.
The Baglung bench of Pokhara High Court issued the order to stop rampant mining of sand, pebbles and stones using dozers and excavators in the Kaligandaki River.
A division bench of Chief Judge Sheshraj Shiwakoti and Judge Shakuntala Ghimire on Friday ordered the district administrations and the local units to impose ban on using heavy earth moving equipment like dozers and excavators to extract sand and pebbles from the river immediately.
The court also ordered the local units to stipulate rules to ban the use of heavy equipment while mining in the river effective from next fiscal year 2018-19.
The High Court also ordered Baglung, Beni and Kushman municipalities, and Gharapjhong Rural Municipality to submit a report on the impact of such activities on the environment.
The court instructed the local administrations in the four districts to take necessary actions to conserve the river.
The District Co-ordination Committee oversees sand, pebble and stone mining contracts in the area.
Some contractors illegally mined the riverbed using dozers and excavators. This activity changed the course of the river, exposing settlements near the banks to great risk.
Tek Bahadur Sarki, resident of Baglung Municipality-1, filed a writ petition at the Pokhara High Court urging to stop the rampant mining of sand, pebble and stone using heavy machinery. The court gave its verdict following the hearing of both the sides.
Conservationists and local residents, especially those living near the riverbank welcomed the court’s decision.
“The court has honoured the request of people living here. The court’s ruling will be a milestone for environment conservation,” said advocate Badri Prasad Sharma of Baglung. Sharma presented arguments in the court on behalf of the petitioner.