Chepang women picket Dhading District Administration Office over illegal sand miningIllegal mine operators have been extracting sand from river and streams in collusion with representatives of rural municipality, locals say.
Chepang women from Shyamedanda in Gajuri picketed the District Administration Office in Dhading Besi, the district headquarters of Dhading, on Monday after they were threatened by illegal mine operators for interfering with mine operations.
According to protesters, illegal mine operators have been haphazardly extracting sand and pebbles from the Dariyal stream using excavators.
Bimala Chepang, one of the protesters and chairperson of the local mothers’ group, said that they were compelled to picket the local administration office since the police and representatives of the rural municipality did not make efforts to stop the illegal extraction.
“We are opposing illegal mining for the overall welfare of the community, but now we feel unsafe in our own village,” she said.
The protesters have submitted a memorandum to Chief District Officer Bhagirath Pandeya and demanded removal of excavators from the stream. According to them, excessive extraction of sand and pebbles has changed the course of the stream and created pits on the stream’s bed, putting the locals’ lives at risk.
According to Bimala, when they requested authorities to stop the use of excavators in the stream, ward member Dhurba Subedi misbehaved with them and even threatened to kill them.
“We fear for our life now. The local administration should provide us with security,” she said.
Receiving the memorandum, Pandeya assured that he will direct the concerned authority to stop haphazard extraction of sand from the stream.
Raj Kumar Chepang, one of the daily wage workers, said, “Illegal mine operators have been extracting sand from rivers and streams in collusion with representatives of the rural municipality.”
The Post tried to contact some of the illegal mine operators, but they were not available for comment.
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