Residents of Shankarpora Lirkepora Dooru area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are up in arms against the illegal mining, which is being indiscriminately excavating river beds day by day in the areas.
Locals told that due to the “lackadaisical attitude” of the authorities, there is a bund which was constructed by the department but it is now used as a road by the tractors trolley owners, who use this path for ferrying minerals. “Although the land near the river belongs to the Irrigation Department, it has never bothered to take action against the miners who are exploiting the resources of the department,” they said.
A local resident said that due to illegal mining, the areas have become vulnerable to floods. “From last few months these mining mafias are jeopardizing the lives of the residents and its adjacent areas,”. He further said that there is a false impression of tightening the noose of violators, but in the real sense, the concerned officials of the flood, geology and mining and irrigation department has given the violators a free hand to loot the state exchequer in a broad day light. In this illegal action all departments are involved in this action and govt. should take immediate action against these corrupted departments as soon as possible.
However, locals alleged that these extractors start their work early in the morning till midnight, using men and heavy machinery by mining sand plus gravel.
“Most of us are educated but jobless. To come from this depression we started to work in the area by manually extracting sand and selling the same to fulfill our needs. Unfortunately, from last few years, we are now workless as the elite people of the area have used big machines for extraction of sand. With this we are in an economic depression,” said a local youth.
District Mineral Officer Anantnag, Suhail Ahmad while speaking said that Illegal mechanical extraction won’t be tolerated and warned stricter action will be taken against the violators of the law in the days ahead.
Meanwhile, the locals appealed to the Lt. Governor and higher officials to look into the matter and stop this illegal trade to save the environment and natural ecology for future generations.