The Bold Voice of J&K

More steps required to check unabated illegal mining in Valley



SRINAGAR: Over the years, unabated mining has become a major environmental issue in the valley, which has a direct bearing on losses in Union Territory. Many experts are of the opinion that illegal mining results in massive revenue loss to public exchequer. Acting tough against elements involved in illegal extraction and transportation of minerals, Police in Budgam has arrested 4 persons and seized 4 vehicles involved in commission of crime.
As per details, on July 22, 2022 officers from Police Station Khan Saheb arrested 4 persons and seized 4 vehicles (a JCB and 3 tippers) for their involvement in illegal extraction and transportation of minerals from Govt land at Khatresh Wadur, Khan Saheb. Earlier on June 9, police arrested four persons in Rudbugh Budgam for illegal mining. Locals from Shopian district are quite worried over the menace. They said, “Many irrigation canals and water channels crisscrossing apple-rich belt of Shopian and Kulgam are drying-up due to illegal and unabated mining of rivers”. Hundreds of truckloads of minor minerals are sold by miners and most of them do not have even a license or had paid any fee. Unregulated mining of sand has also caused environmental problems in many areas. The government must come up with a proper policy on extraction of minor minerals and ensure that licenses are granted only on basis of merit.
All vehicles ferrying mineral illegally extracted or obtained must be seized by the law enforcement wings. Govt and concerned authorities need to expedite efforts to curb illegal mining activities in UT especially Valley. Pertinent to mention here that according to Section 4.3 of Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules 2016, mining is forbidden in riverbeds ‘below the depth of 3 mts or water level, whichever lesser.’

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