Amid shutdown, illegal sand and soil extraction goes unabated

Pulwama/Shopian: Taking advantage of shutdown, the illegal sand, soil extraction and cutting of walnut trees is going unabated in South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts.

Sources said that some vested interests are taking advantage of the abnormal situation by resorting to huge sand and soil extraction besides cutting the walnut trees in the districts.

Shahid Ahmed, a resident of Dogripora Pulwama said that from last few days, the illegal extraction of sand has been started by vested interests in river Jhelum.

He added that such activities was stopped in the area after High Court banned the extraction but from last few days this illegal extraction has begun once again as the vested interests are aware that the whole administration is busy to avoid any untoward incident owing to the law and order situation in the district.

He added that the locals however, intervene into the matter and stopped the illegal activity but none from the administration bothered to visit the area to check the menace.

Moreover, as per locals, the illegal soil extraction that was stopped in Zainapora area of Shopian district some months back after intervention of District administration has once again started.

They added that the soil is being lifted from Darbagh and Aglar village and is being used to fill the Abi-Awal land in other areas in violation of various acts.

It also created environmental hazard and soil is scattered all over the roads that has polluted the area due to which locals are suffering, Zahoor Ahmed, a student said.

He added that sand extractors are using machinery and men round the clock to extract maximum soil and inflate the profits in these tense days.

Locals said that administration must take cognizance of the issue at an earliest so that they would heave a sigh of relief.

Naib Tehsildar Zainapora, Mohammad Ashraf Rather said that a team of officials will be deployed in the area to stop this illegal extraction.

He assured that matter will be investigated and illegal extractors will be dealt with strictly.

Moreover, people from Kakapora area said that dozens of green walnut trees were cut down in the area by a local wood cutter in last five days.

Locals appealed District Development Commissioner (DDC) Pulwama to look into the matter and save and preserve rest of the walnut trees on which livelihood of hundreds of people depends.

DDC Pulwama, G M Dar said that he will look into the matter of illegal sand loot and illegal walnut tree cutting.

He assured that persons involved in these illegal activities will be dealt with strictly.


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