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Govt should tighten noose around the illegal mining and sand excavators

Young Bites. Dated: 9/14/2018 2:19:57 PM


VK Gupta
Jammu, Sep 13
Dishonestly removing sand, gravels and other minerals from the river, which is the property of the State constitute an offence of theft apart from offences under Special Statute.There is urgent need to restore the serious ecological imbalance and to stop the damages being caused to the nature.
Illegal mining is mining activity without state permission, in particular in absence of land rights, mining license, exploration or mineral transportation permit. Illegal natural resource extraction becomes pressing when global mineral prices are soaring. artisanal mining can belong to large-scale organized crime,spearheaded by illegal mining syndicates.
Creating a major environmental problem for the government, the illegal and indiscriminate sand mining in Rivers is causing a huge loss of revenue for the state exchequer. Despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court, the mining mafia has deployed scores of tractors and trucks to carry out the illegal mining trade clandestinely with the alleged support of police, administrative officials and a section of local politicians. In the process, the state has suffered an approximate revenue loss of over Rs in crores according to mining department sources. As sand commands an exorbitant price in the grey market, and the trucks are overloaded beyond capacity but still no stringent action has been taken by the govt. Meanwhile, indiscriminate mining is also devastating the environment.Rivers in India have been affected by the alarming rate of unrestricted sand mining, which is damaging the eco-system of the rivers and safety of bridges which have been laid across various creeks in the district. It could lead to loss of human lives.It also weakens river beds, fish breeding and destroys the natural habitat of many organisms.
If these illegal activities are not stopped by the state and the police authorities of the state, it will cause serious repercussions. It will not only change the river hydrology but also will deplete the ground water levels.To stop illegal sand mining, special flying squads should be formed and the stringent action should be pressed against hardened criminals and mafias. MCOCA shouldalso be be pressed against the offenders involved in illegal sand mining. Illegal mining is happening because the Police and Revenue officials are in cahoots with members of the sand mafia. Without their consent, illegal mining is not possible.
Revenue loss to the exchequer is seemingly the only tangible cost of illegally mined sand, but the impact that it has on environment and ecology is far greater and far graver, caution environmentalists and water conservation experts.It has adverse impact on the habitat of micro-organisms. When sand and boulders are removed in an unimpeded way using heavy machines, the erosion capacity of the river increases. Sand and boulders prevent the river from changing the course and act as a buffer for the riverbed. Thousands of tonnes of sand is being illegally mined to meet the rising demand of construction industry and for extraction of minerals.

 

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