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news details
Govt tightens noose around sand mafia
Identifies extraction sites
9/7/2018 10:49:20 PM
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Sept 7: Following unchecked and threatening mining from the river beds, Government has framed rules to stop the illegal extraction of minerals for preservation of environment and identified particular sites where sand extraction has been going on unabated by the sand mafia.
An official document of Industries and Commerce Department said that that each mineral concession holder in a cluster shall be responsible for implementation of the environment management plan.
They will also be responsible for undertaking the phased restoration, reclamation and rehabilitation of land affected by mining operation.
The rules were made in consultation with the Irrigation and Flood Control Department and the Forest Department.
Despite that there has been lack of implementation of rules on the ground. Now the government has decided as per a recent document to allow sand extraction at few places.
"The central portion of river Jhelum from Rajbagh to Cement Bridge Qamarwari being in the heart of the Srinagar city is discouraged for extraction of sand," it said.
For the last four years, 76162 metric tones of sand has been extracted from Jehlum in Srinagar.
The course of river Jhelum and its tributaries mainly through the country rocks including basaltic and limestone terrain and alluvial, and Karewa plains laden with sandy material in their composition produce bulk of sand.
Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had pointed at granting mining leases by Jammu and Kashmir government in protected areas in contravention of Supreme Court orders.
Under the rules, no permission shall be granted to any mineral concession holder unless a mining plan approved under these rules is substituted and approved by the government.
An official of Irrigation and Flood Control Department said that government has been receiving complaints that illegal sand extraction has become vulnerable to floods due to the weakening of the embankments of the river in several areas of Srinagar.
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