Illegal sand extraction goes unabated in central Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 15: Despite government ban, illegal extraction of stones, boulders and sand from streams is going unabated in villages of Ganderbal district.
The locals said that the extraction of sand and boulders is going on in different parts of the district. The extraction has caused damage to the agricultural land of the area as the extraction in these streams has led to decrease in water level.
Locals said that “We have many times in past approached the Irrigation and Flood Control department about the extraction of sand, but the authorities seems unmoved, the contractors, local sand mafias are extracting sand for construction of bunds, walls and houses”.
They said that due to the large scale extraction in nallah Sindh, river Jhelum and with the result the walls that are constructed on the banks of these rivulets are meant to prevent floods but that are getting destroyed due to the greed of these sand mafias.
Sources said that at least six to seven sensitive sites are being vandalized by the practice as of now, where the extraction of sand, stones and boulders is going on round the clock.
for the last 15 days the extraction has been intensified and a round the clock vandalism is in top gear.
Heavy machinery like JCB’s and bulldozers are being used to extract sand, stones and boulders from these sites leaving an irreversible, disastrous impact on the environment.
Experts express horror at the unabated practice, saying that a catastrophe is in waiting.
High Court has already passed directions to the concerned officials to act against persons who indulge in such illegal activities. (PTK)