'Punjab vandalising JK’s natural resources in Kathua'
ILLEGAL QUARRYING IN RAVI RIVER BED GOES UNABATED
Jammu, May 5: Under the nose of Jammu and Kashmir authorities, Punjab is rampantly plundering the State’s natural resources, as its more than 50 stone crushers extract thousands of tons of building material from river Ravi River bed in Kathua district here.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that the illegal quarrying was going on unabated in the area as the JK Government has failed to stake its claim or at least charge royalty from the stone crusher owners of Punjab.
“Illegal extraction was going on from past many years but the J&K Government only gave false assurances to environment activists that it will take action to stop the activity,” they said.
Jagjeet Singh, an elderly head of Jagatpur village, situated on the banks of River Ravi , said that a decade ago, it was impossible for people to cross over the river due to strong water current. Living on the serene river banks was advantage for the locals as they would meet all their water requirements easily. Ironically, the site presently is on the verge of extinction as more than fifty stone crushers operate along the river banks,” he lamented.
Due to unabated quarrying, the course of the river has been changed and only thing visible are the earth movers extracting river bed material for stone crushers.
Following strong concern by some NGOs over vandalisation of the river, the district administration has clamped section 144 CRPC in one kilometer each upstream and downstream area of bridge connecting J&K with Punjab. “But till date no action has been taken from Punjab side and rampant extraction was going on,” said Suresh Kumar a member of a local social organization.
He further said that despite assurances by the administration, no demarcation of the State boundary has been undertaken giving free hand to stone crusher operators of Punjab to quarry on J&K side.
As per the Environment Protection Law, the river-bed can’t be dug more than three to four feet. “But in River Ravi the stone crusher owners dig it to more than 30-40 feet. The illegal activity was going on because of strong nexus between the State government authorities and stone crusher mafia of Punjab,” he alleged.
A senior district administration officials wishing anonymity said a notice was shot to the District Magistrate of Gurdaspur. “But he did not take any action against the illegal practice. The matter has been taken up with the Divisional Commissioner Jammu and also with the Director of Geology and Mining department. Ironically so far no action has been taken,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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