Kashmir unrest:Sand mafia loot Rambi Ara stream in Pulwama, Shopian


Pulwama: Famous Rambi Ara stream which passes through twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama is presently being looted by the local sand mafia as there is no check on them given the political crisis in the region.

The fast flowing stream rich in resources of stones, sand and boulders, is faces unabated loot as the illegal excavation is at its all time high.

While there is a blanket ban on illegal excavation of sand, stones and boulders from the stream, the sand and stones are being excavated from the area at a large scale.

This unabated large scale excavation has posed threat to the agricultural land around the large stream, besides creating apprehensions that if the floods again occur, it will create a catastrophe in the flood prone region.

Most of the illegal excavation takes place near Sugan -Achan strip-which is close to Lassipora Industrial estate.

Why the illegal excavation worth crores of rupees continues despite a ban, is a question the administration has failed to answer so far.

A thorough investigation reveals that the non-cooperation between the various departments like Irrigation and Flood Control, Fisheries, Geology and Mining, have over the years failed to save the stream from the open loot. The official nexus also can’t be ruled out, sources said.

Due to this unabated extraction of sand and boulders, the stream environs look like a bus stand in presence of huge number of tippers and dozers.

“We are surprised why the district administration is not looking into the issue. The stream has almost become dry. It would be difficult for us to irrigate our agricultural land in summers,” said the locals.

Abdul Gani, an elderly says, after the 2014 floods, more and more illegal excavation of sand and stones have been taking place and people from other districts have set up their Bulldozers and other huge machines here to extract minerals.

 “We fail to understand what stops the district administrations of Pulwama and Shopian to act. There can be two possibilities, either they are least bothered to stop this mafia or they are getting the due share out of it,” the locals said.

The employees of Geology and Mining, F&I and Fisheries departments deputed in the area to check and stop such illegal practice are allegedly in nexus with the mafia.

District Mining Officials of Pulwama, say it is difficult for them to stop the excavation from the stream as some people have got NOC from Flood and Irrigation Department to dredge out the minerals, in addition the authority with their department to give permission has also been snatched from them under a recent SRO.

The officials said they have been verbally asked to check illegal excavation in the Rambi Ara as it has been banned, but there is no written document with them. (PTK)




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