Illegal extraction of riverbed materials goes uncheckedIllegal sand mining goes unabated because the local units fail to take strong action against the guilty, say locals.
In a bid to control illegal mining of sand and other construction materials, the local administration in Sarlahi closed the crusher plants in the district a few months ago. But illegal extraction of construction aggregate has been continuing in the district, particularly in the Chure region.
On Tuesday, a monitoring team led by Chief District Officer Mohan Bahadur GC seized two excavators and as many tractors from a sand mining site at Patauna stream in Hariaun.
“The excavators and tractors were handed over to the concerned local level for legal action,” said GC.
According to some locals, illegal sand mining has been going on unchecked because the local units have failed to take action against illegal miners.
Following complaints of rampant sand mining and deforestation in the Chure region, a team, led by Ram Chandra Mandal, chairman of Natural Resources and Environment Committee of Province 2 assembly, had monitored the Chure area eight months ago. The committee discovered illegal extraction of sand and stones taking place in several rivers and streams in the Chure area.
“Smuggling of sand and stone in the Chure area has worried us. Because of the remoteness of the area, it is difficult to stop the problem,” said Manoj Kumar Devkota, mayor of Ishworpur Municipality.
He, along with other municipal officials, inspected the Chure area on Wednesday. Devkota said illegal mining and smuggling of construction aggregate cannot be controlled without locals’ support.
Meanwhile, the local administration in Makwanpur is preparing to shut down 36 sand mines and six crusher plants for violating the industry regulations. The district monitoring committee had inspected the sand mines and crusher plants in various parts of the district on Monday and Tuesday.
Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhatta said preparations were underway to close the sand mines and crusher plants for not adhering to the regulations enforced by the district council meeting.
(Pratap Bista contributed reporting from Hetauda)