In violation of prescribed norms, sand extraction is going on in full swing in Jhleum in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district that is disturbing its fragile ecology.
Residents of several villages of Bijbehara tehsil and other adjoining areas are up in arms against various departments for delaying in stopping sand extraction in Jehlum. Locals of these areas said that despite government ban on illegal extraction of sand, the practice is going on unabated.
They alleged that the Fisheries Department and other concerned departments are involved in the illegal extraction and transportation of sand and other materials. “These unscrupulous elements, who claim to be contractors are round the clock only extracting sand by using heavy machines,” said locals.
Locals said that Fisheries Department alone cannot do everything as there are other departments, including Geology and Mining, Irrigation, Flood Control Departments, who have a crucial role to play.
Outraged at illegal extraction of sand from Jehlum, locals have appealed to the concerned officials to look into it and have demanded immediate action against the people involved. They added that geology and mining department is making some efforts to an extent to stop the illegal extraction, however, Irrigation and Flood Control Department is in deep slumber.
District mineral officer of Anantnag, Showkatah Shah, said that we are taking every possible step to stop illegal extraction and to some extend we have managed to stop it. However, we need cooperation from other departments including Irrigation, Flood Control and Fisheries department to stop illegal extraction completely.