Anantnag: Illegal extraction of sand and boulders from Nallah Sandran in Nussu Badhragund area of Anantnag district has left a newly constructed bridge and the proprietary land around it prone to damages, as and when the water levels rise in the Nallah.
The extraction of sand and boulders is going on despite a blanket ban on the practice by the district administration.
The residents in Nussu Bhadragund are seeking an immediate end to the extraction besides demanding construction of flood channels and a flood protection bund in the area.
The bridge-connecting Nussu Bhadragund with Luk Bhawan Larkipora-was constructed post the floods of 2014 with an estimated cost of around 5 crore rupees by the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department.
However, in the subsequent years, the illegal extraction of sand and stone from under the bridge and peripheries has done extensive damage to it.
“You can see how far and deep have these people dug into the stream. Leave alone flooding, the bridge might not be able to sustain even the normal water flow of the stream during summers,” the residents in the area told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the villagers have time and again intimated the concerned authorities but they have failed to check the illegal extraction.
“Besides, there has also been undue delay in fulfilling the other genuine demand which is construction of flood channels and a flood protection bund,” the residents said.
The residents stand vindicated by a survey by a Naib Tehsildar (NT), Vessu earlier on Wednesday.
The NT in his letter to Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Dooru has termed the demands of the villagers genuine and advised that a concerned department be intimated to carry out a survey in the area.
“During the passage of time illegal extraction of boulders and bajri from Nallah Sandran by unknown culprits has endangered the said bridge as well as the landed property of the said village,” The NT writes, in letter number 574/NTV.
He further writes that the demand of the Auqaf Committee, vis-à-vis construction of a protection bund and flood channels, was a genuine one. SDM Dooru, Umar Shafi Pandit, acknowledged that he too gets regular complaints regarding illegal extraction near the bridge.
“Even yesterday evening I received a complaint and deputed a team to the spot within no time. But the team found nothing on ground,” he said. Pandit said that the concerned-Irrigation and Flood Control-department has been intimated.
“I guess a team from I&FC must have visited the spot today. They are supposed to file a Detailed Project Report (DPR) in the coming days,” Pandit said.
He said that he will take up the issue with the Deputy Commissioner as well.
“I was, in fact, scheduled to meet the DC today regarding the issue but the meeting got cancelled somehow. Will meet him in the coming days,” he said.