Villagers demand removal of mining debris from Gola banks
Villagers of the Lalkuan region of Nainital district have been demanding removal of the debris that have collected on the banks Gola river as a result of quarrying activity over the yearsdehradun Updated: Jun 10, 2018 21:50 IST
Villagers of the Lalkuan region of Nainital district have been demanding removal of the debris that have collected on the banks Gola river as a result of quarrying activity over the years.
The villagers said that the debris was not only affecting the river’s ecosystem, but also causing floods in the area. “The river causes flooding in the monsoon due to the collection of excessive debris near the banks, some of which lie within 2.5 km of the elephant corridor,” said Shekhar Joshi, a resident of Lalkuan. He said that the villagers have been demanding that the debris be picked up to ensure smooth flow of the river.
The government has banned quarrying in 2.5 km area on each side of Gola river bank in the region, which forms part of the elephant corridor.
It is a known fact that quarrying, if done scientifically, can be beneficial for rivers, as it helps in carrying away excess debris that could lead to floods. However, the way quarrying is being done in the Lalkuan region has raised concern also among environmentalists.
Anup Sah, a member of the Uttarakhand Wildlife Board, said that over the years excessive quarrying on Gola river has created many problems and opening the area near the elephant corridor for quarrying would lead to further problems for the animals.
“Many big boulders, which would help in breaking the water speed, have been broken away from the river in the name of quarrying,” he lamented. He urged the forest department not to allow quarrying in the area falling under the elephant corridor, as it would harm the river’s ecosystem.
Parag Madhukar Dhakate, the conservator of forest, western division, said that a district-level quarrying committee is looking into the matter. An aerial videography of the banks of Gola river was conducted to find out the actual situation. “The authorities would also assess if the dumped quarried material was obstructing the river flow. In case, it would be established that the debris was obstructing the river flow, we will order for its removal so that the river flow remains unhindered and it does not cause flood,” he said.
First Published: Jun 10, 2018 21:50 IST