Greater Noida: 11 held for illegally mining sand from the Yamuna floodplains
Sand mining is banned on the Yamuna flood plain as per a National Green Tribunal order.
The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the police, in a joint operation on Friday, arrested 11 persons on charges of illegally mining sand from the Yamuna floodplains in Murshadpur, Jaganpur and Atta Gujran village areas.
The police have lodged an FIR against the accused under sections of the IPC and the Mining Act, the police said. The police have seized five dumpers, one earth mover and one excavator that were being used for mining sand from the riverbed. The two arrested, who owns the machinery, were identified as Shrinivas Singh and Ashok Kumar, residents of Murshadpur village, the police said.
The joint operation was conducted following a WhatsApp complaint filed by a youth.
Personnel from four police stations — Dankaur, Surajpur, Eco Tech-I and Kasna — along with subdivisional magistrate (Sadar) RK Singh conducted the search.
“With a strength of 30 policemen, we were able to stop the sand miners from fleeing the spot. They tried to run but we managed to catch them. We have filed FIR and an investigation will be conducted to arrest their associates,” said Abhinandan, additional superintendent of police, Greater Noida.
Of the five dumpers, two were filled with sand.
“We caught 11 persons red-handed as they were mining sand when we reached at the spot. It is one of the biggest operations that we have so far conducted,” the DSP said.
The police said they will intensify night patrolling to ensure no sand mining takes place.
The National Green Tribunal on November 2, 2015, banned sand mining on the Yamuna floodplains following a plea that said illegal sand mining is damaging the river, especially the stretch that falls in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
To enforce the ban, the district administration is conducting meetings with villagers seeking their support in stopping the illegal activity.
Many young boys in villages on the banks of the Yamuna are helping authorities in catching illegal sand miners. They are using messaging service WhatsApp to communicate with officials.
“After our meetings in villages, many boys started sharing information about sand mining on WhatsApp. They do not want to be identified due to obvious safety concerns. I receive five to six messages a week from these boys. Today, I alerted the police and the SDM who arrested 11 people at the site itself. I hope more young boys will support us in the drive against the sand mafia,” said NP Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.