Jammu Kashmir is annually loosing crores due to illegal extraction of sand,gravel and boulders from rivers. The unabated extraction is damaging bridges, triggering floods and taking away the pristine of the rivers.
Though some sites have been auctioned by Geology and mining department however most of the sites are still unauctioned and the illegal extraction at these places is unabated.
As observed by The Kashmiriyat, Hundreds of tractors, trippers, trucks and JCBs can be seen stripping the rivers beds daily from unauctioned sites despite repeated ban orders by administration.
A top source within Geology and Mining Department told The Kashmiriyat that only block 12 has been auctioned in area between sangam to kakapora, however most of extraction goes on at unauctioned places.
He said the owner of the block 12 has repeatedly informed Geology and Mining authorities about the illegal extraction and authorities have ordered to lodge FIR against illegal extractors however the field staff has failed to work upon the orders.
As the extraction is going on at the sangam-kakapora area, a daily income of about 60 thousand per day should have been added in states revenue however hardly 3 to 5 thousand rupees are being credited in states revenue account by this department which accounts to a loss of over 50 thousand daily only in between sangam and kakapora sector, he said.
A Larger question remains if we are losing over 50 thousand revenue per day in only few kilometers, then how much revenue is being lost per day due to illegal extraction across state?
The Kashmiriyat has also been informed that at many places illegal extractors are in nexus with geology and mining officers due to which at many places illegal extraction is going on 24×7.
Besides revenue loss it has affected the water and aquatic life which resulted in declined fish production.
Another senior officer of Geology and Mining Department Mashooq Ahmed blamed law enforcement agencies for the mess.
He added that the department has only 150 people across state and the work pressure is much higher. “How can we deal with these issues and detain anyone?” he asked.
He told The Kashmiriyat that he has already written to district administration in this regard and is hopeful that they will take action very soon to stop illegal extraction.
Author: Jahangeer Ganie
Jahangeer Ganie is the chief correspondent of The Kashmiriyat for District Pulwama in South Kashmir