Illegal mining of natural resources goes unabated

- DIPENDRA SHAKYA, Sankhuwasabha

Dec 7, 2014-

Extraction and collection of natural resources such as sand, boulders and gravels are being carried out illegally from the banks of the Arun river and Jaleshwor temple area, local people said. The government has put a ban on mining of the materials from these areas.

On Sunday, local people took under control two tractors loaded with sands and gravels being smuggled from the river banks.

Sujan Bajracharya, a local resident, said that more than 50 tractor full of sands and gravels are smuggled from the area on a daily basis. He added that the illegal mining of the natural resources is being carried out in collusion with the District Development Committee and contractors despite the government ban.

Local people said that their repeated calls to the concerned authorities to curb the illegal mining of the natural resources in the area have fallen on deaf ears.

The rampant extraction of sands and gravels has also posed a serious threat to the Manakamana Temple that is situated near the Arun river with locals saying that it may cause its collapse. Local Dipan Kumar Shrestha said that illegal mining must be stopped immediately so as to conserve the temple.

Local people and civil society leaders have called on the Local Development Officer (LDO) Krishna Prasad Dhital and urged him to stop the illegal mining and collection. Niranjan Shrestha, one of the members of the civil society, said that the very existence of the temple will be under serious threat if it is not conserved at the earliest. LDO Dhital, however, said that he has no knowledge whatsover of the illegal mining going on in the area. He said that if the authorities find that illegal extraction of natural resources is indeed going on in the area despite the government ban then they would initiate process to take action against the guilty. Meanwhile, the Surkhet District Forest Office (DFO) has put a ban on supply of sand and gravels in the district from 6 pm to 6 am in the morning. District Forest Officer Shambhu Prasad Chaurasiya said that the move aims at curbing smuggling of forest products, which, Chaurasiya said, is being carried out in the name of supplying sands and gravels. He said that a meeting held recently under the chairmanship of the Chief District Officer had taken a decision to this effect and that Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been asked to help enforce the decision.


Published: 08-12-2014 09:55

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