Noida: Night patrolling planned to curb sand mining on Yamuna floodplains
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Noida: Night patrolling planned to curb sand mining on Yamuna floodplains

Two seizures of nearly 18,000 cubic metres of sand from Sikandarpur and Murshadpur on Tuesday prod administration to crack down on sand mafia

noida Updated: Jul 19, 2017 23:00 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Noida,Noida news,sand mining
Despite many close encounters with the sand mining mafia, the Noida police has failed to arrest the ‘big fish’ masterminding the racket.(Sunil Ghosh/HT FILE PHOTO)

A day after the district administration and the police, in a joint operation, seized illegally mined sand from two villages of Sikandarpur and Murshadpur, the district magistrate said he was planning to start night patrolling on the floodplains of river Yamuna to curb sand mining.

The administration seized 10,638 cubic metres of sand in Sikandarpur and 7488 cubic metres of sand in Murshadpur area.

“I have imposed a fine of Rs 70.69 lakh on both sand mafia groups caught mining sand from the two spots. I have instructed my staff to identify the properties that belong to two sand mafia groups. If they do not pay the penalty, we will auction their property,” said BN Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar. .

Residents of the villages near the floodplains feel that there is a dire need to have night patrolling as sand mining mostly takes place at night.

“Sand mafia groups transports the sand in dumpers at night. It happens with the involvement of the local police. If the administration wants to stop sand mining, it should ensure that the police stop supporting the sand mafia,” said Tikam Singh, a resident of Nagli village.

The administration said they get information about sand mining activities from the villagers who live along the Yamuna embankment.

“Any person can share information about sand mining with our officers or with me. We will ban illegal sand mining and take appropriate action on residents’ complaints,” the DM said.

The administration will also confiscate properties of those part of the sand mafia in order to recover revenue lost as a result of the illegal sand mining activity.

Sand mining along Yamuna floodplains mostly takes place during the night as there is no patrolling during that time.

“We will auction the properties of the sand mafia to recover the revenue lost in illegal sand mining. Our priority is to ensure that no illegal sand mining takes place on the Yamuna floodplains,” BN Singh said.

The DM has instructed all subdivisional magistrates to prepare a list of those involved in illegal sand mining in their respective areas. Once the list is ready, the DM will act against these people if they continue to mine sand from the Yamuna floodplains.

Read I Noida DM takes on sand mafia, vows to end illegal mining

“I will ask SDMs and the local police to start a joint night patrolling along the Yamuna floodplains so that we stop illegal sand mining,” Singh said.

Illegal sand mining has been a lucrative business in Gautam Budh Nagar district, especially because sand is in huge demand for the construction activities in Delhi-NCR. As a result, trhe sand is almost worth its weight in gold.

A dumper load of sand costs from Rs1,800 to Rs 2,000. To mine sand illegally, the sand mafia had even built a temporary bridge across the Yamuna to ferry sand from UP to Haryana.

Authorities in Gautam Budh Nagar district in October, 2015, had caught about 30 labourers who were building the temporary bridge across the river to ferry sand.

The district administration had dismantled the 300metre structure constructed near Noida’s Chak Basantpur village for trucks and dumpers carrying the coveted natural resource. The administration had also seized around 6,000 sandbags, several concrete pipes and an excavator as well. Later, the National Green Tribunal bar council had filed a petition in the tribunal which banned sand mining on Yamuna floodplains.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 23:00 IST