Jahangeer Ganaie

‘Unrestricted’ mineral excavation damaging Ranbiara Nallah

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Shopian: The unchecked and unrestricted mineral excavation in river Ranibara has left it damaged to a great extent, experts say.
Contractors who have been allotted the excavation contracts have violated all guidelines and continue to damage the river and concerned authorities are acting as mute spectators, locals in the area said.
They said that the use of heavy machinery has turned the river into a deep and wide successive trenches dug across and the concerned authorities have failed to take cognizance of the issue.
Contractors have been continuously violating the norms despite that the fact that they have accepted to uphold the environmental concerns that have been expressed by the locals from time to time, the locals alleged.
“The contractors have signed agreements with the concerned department and have accepted that they will follow the guidelines set by the Geology and Mining department in letter and spirit,” said the visibly concerned locals.
However, the concerned department has failed to take action against the violators and it seems they are hand in glove in the ongoing loot, the locals said.
Locals from upper part of the Shopian to the Litter area of Pulwama said that deep trenches have been dug everywhere in the river bed that will surely have bad impact on the irrigation facilities the Nallah offers to varied villages.
“We wholly depend on this river for irrigation purposes but authorities are playing with our livelihood. If the government will not take immediate steps to stop such excavation then very soon our orchards will turn into a barren land,” said AshiqAhme, an orchardist from Ahgam area of Shopian.
Manual excavation was far better than using heavy machinery, he said while adding that authorities must take immediate steps to stop this excavation which is against all the norms.
Sources within the department said that the higher ups know about the violation of the norms but they are silent as they part of the organized crime.
Moreover, the department lacks man power as there are just about one dozen employees of the department in Shopian district, they said.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Shabir Ahmad, when contacted by ‘Kashmir Vision’ said that the issue was already brought to his notice.
“We have constituted a team headed by ACR Shopian who are investigating the matter and any decision will be taken after the report of the team,” he said.


Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a reporter and covers regional news and can be contacted [email protected]

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