India

Despite govt ban, illegal mining unabated in parts of Jammu

golden yug
[ July 10, 2017 ] Despite government ban, the illegal extraction of sand, stone and gravel is alleged to be continuing unabated in various parts of the state. It deserves mentioning here that Jammu and Kashmir Division Bench comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Tashi Rabstan, had directed SSP Jammu to file status report on illegal mining in Tawi River Bed. Division Bench was apprised that illegal mining towards Sidhra and Nagrota is going on day and night and ‘local police authorities seem to be hand in glove with the mining mafia’. It was further submitted that the directions of the Division Bench are being taken lightly/casually by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu. Despite blanket ban on the mining, the stone crusher owners with the hand in glove with Geology and Mining department are doing rampant illegal mining in river Tawi during night hours and are selling the extracted material i.e. sand, gravel, stone without any fear during day.This illegal trade is going on from a long time after the ban on mining by the high court of Jammu and Kashmir. The Geology and Mining department who is responsible to keep check on the same is itself involved with this mining mafia and is taking hefty bribe for turning its blind eye towards them.These stone crushers which according to the documents are lying defunct actually works in night hours and after extracting sufficient material through mining of river Tawi, they sell it during the day time under the nose of geology and mining department besides the tractor and trollies fully loaded with this illegally extracted material also ply on road without any fear or questioning by police.Highly placed sources disclosed that the officials of geology and mining department for the sake of money are providing multiple benefits to mining mafia. ”Officials are taking minimum Rs 50,000 as a bribe per stone crusher and in lieu of this they are allowing crushers to work illegally during night that’s too without paying any electricity bill for the power consumed as the department has already shown them non-functional in its records” sources disclosed.If sources are to be believed the department of mining has turned into a money earning department as its officials never conducts any raid or inspection of the river to check the illegal mining if any and moreover the officials have fixed their commission with the crushers and mining mafia owing to which the Tawi is losing its sheen day by day.Besides this the illegally operating stone crushers are also adding to the air pollution without any hindrance as the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) could not take any action against them on being lying defunct because they remain closed during the day time.“This nexus of crusher owners and officials of geology and mining department is directly affecting the poor tractor trollies owners as for them there is a blanket ban on the mining and they are striving hard for earning their bread and butter while on the other hand the department officials and those running crushers are earning huge” sources concluded.