Sand mining banned along Narmada | bhopal | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 21, 2017-Friday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Sand mining banned along Narmada

Sand mining has been banned along Narmada river in the state, while sand mining using machines has been banned along other rivers, the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced here on Monday.

bhopal Updated: May 23, 2017 16:29 IST
(Hindustan Times photo)

Sand mining has been banned along Narmada river in the state, while sand mining using machines has been banned along other rivers, the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced here on Monday.

This major decision comes soon after the conclusion of the five-month Narmada Seva Yatra spearheaded by the chief minister and strident criticism from the opposition and environmental groups who have alleged that large scale illegal sand mining was taking place in the state with complicity of BJP ministers.

“An official notification will be issued today and all collectors have been asked to seize all vehicle and equipment being used for sand mining. A committee under minister Rajendra Shukla, which has experts from IIT Kharagpur, has been constituted to find how much mining can be scientifically done along the Narmada and other rivers without affecting them,” Chouhan said.

The government will take a decision on studying the report, though no time frame has been fixed for submission of the report.

As an alternative the government will promote manufacturing of sand by crushing stones. Those associated with the real estate said that this decision is bound to hurt the construction industry and the price of sand will hit the roof as importing sand from neighbouring states is expensive and supply of legally mined sand (without using machines) will be too little to meet the demand, and manufacturing sand by crushing stones is time consuming and expensive.

The government has been facing flak over illegal sand mining and Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh had alleged in his reply to motion of thanks on Governor’s address on March 3, that illegal sand mining was flourishing in the state under BJP leaders’ protection, and even the Chief Minister’s relatives were involved. The state Congress president Arun Yadav had shot off a letter to the Prime Minister apprising him of alleged illegal sand mining by mafia along Narmada river.

Illegal mining is a major law and order issue in the state with government officials, both from the forest and revenue department have been attacked by sand mafia in various parts of the state in the past few years.