Farmers allege illegal sand mining in Yamuna floodplains, administration denies claim
Farmers of Dostpur Mangroli Bangar on Sunday alleged that despite complaints about illegal sand mining , contractors continue to mine sand on Yamuna floodplains not allotted to them. The Gautam Budh Nagar administration, however, refuted claims made by the farmers.
“We had filed complaints with the Uttar Pradesh chief minister office, district magistrate and other agencies, telling them that the contractors have been mining the floodplains not allotted to them by the administration. In response to our complaints, the CM office conducted an inquiry in June this year. However, despite the complaints and subsequent inquiry, the illegal sand mining continued. We demand strict action against the contractors,” said Chaman Pradhan of Dostpur Mangroli Bangar.
According to the Gautam Budh Nagar mining officer, the administration has allotted two sites, Yakutpur and Asgarpur, on the Yamuna floodplains to two different contractors. As per the agreement, contractor Suyash Jayaswal has been allotted a seven hectare site in the Yakutpur village, which is part of the Yamuna floodplains, and 19.02 hectares of the floodplains in Asgarpur village have been allotted to contractor Grit & Moxiee. The administration had allotted the seven hectare site in December 2018 for five years. And the 19.02 hectare site was allotted in April 2018 for five years.
“Instead of only mining sand in the Yakutpur floodplains, the contractor has been mining sand on the Dostpur Mangroli Bangar floodplains despite repeated complaints, and destroying the land meant for agricultural activity,” satpal Singh, another farmer from Dostpur Mangroli Bangar said.
The administration, however, said that the contractor has only been mining the area allotted to it.
“The mining officer, along with his team, has inspected the site and found that the contractor has not gone beyond the allotted area. The mining officer has checked the longitude and latitude of the area allotted and found that he is mining within the boundary of its area. The allegations with regard to illegal sand mining made by farmers are false and baseless,” said BN Singh, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar.
Officials said after instructions from the UP chief minister office, the revenue department team conducted an inquiry and reported back, stating there was no illegal sand mining taking place in the district. “We have marked the area allotted to contractors via e-tendering. And we found that the contractors are adhering to the fencing done on their area,” said Bhupendra Yadav, mining inspector, Gautam Budh Nagar.