Locals protest against extraction of sand, pebbles in the Tinau riverCurrently, excavators are being used in mining of sand and gravel on the southern side of the Tinau bridge.
Locals of Butwal-17 have launched a protest against mining of sand, pebbles and stones at Tinau River in Rupandehi district.
Currently, excavators are being used in mining of sand and gravel on the southern side of the Tinau bridge. Locals said the extraction and supply of pebbles, stones and sand from the river is harming the ecosystem of the river and the areas in the vicinity.
Butwal Sub-metropolis has granted permission to extract pebbles, stones and sand at Raniganj in Butwal-17. According to locals, more than 3,000 households are at a landslide risk due to the extraction activities.
On Thursday, locals staged a protest and stopped tipper trucks loaded with stones and pebbles in the mining area. The sub-metropolis has allowed a contracting company to extract 17,727 cubic metres of sand and pebbles from Milanchok Ghat for the construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport.
An embankment has also been built in Ranigunj along the western riverbanks to protect the nearby settlements from flooding during monsoon.
However, Chairman of Ward-17 Santaram Rana said that the embankment is also at the risk of being destroyed if the excavation continues.
“The river will change its course towards the western side if the mining continues. This will destroy the embankment and put many lives at risk,” Rana said.
Kalpana Sharma, a local woman, said that the bridge is around 700 metres from the mining area. “The entire settlement at Raniganj is at risk. The bridge will also be destroyed if the mining continues. The authorities should take initiatives to build a new embankment on the western side immediately.”
Ward Chairman Rana said that they have halted the ongoing extraction in the area until the sub-metropolis reconducts a technical test of the area and separates the boundary lines for mining.
However, Suman Shrestha, an engineer of Butwal Sub-metropolis, said that they have only allowed extracting and supplying pebbles, stones after conducting an environmental impact assessment of the area.
Raj Kumar Hitanga, a local man, blamed the contractor has extracted more sand, pebbles and stones than required for the national pride project.