Demand to lift ban on sand extraction from river bed

JAMMU: Tractor trailer owners and drivers are demanding lifting of the ban on the extraction of sand and gravel from the Tawi river bed as they allege that carrying material from far-off sites for construction projects in the city is costing them dearly.

Demand to lift ban on sand extraction from river bed

Labourers extract sand from the Tawi river bed in Jammu. File Photo

editorial@tribune.com

Vikram Sharma 

Tribune News Service 

Jammu, September 7

Tractor trailer owners and drivers are demanding lifting of the ban on the extraction of sand and gravel from the Tawi river bed as they allege that carrying material from far-off sites for construction projects in the city is costing them dearly. 

In this regard, tractor trailer owners have been launching protests since the past two days to urge the authorities to come to their rescue as many have been rendered jobless.

“The state has banned the mining of sand and gravel from the Tawi. We have to reach out to far-off places like Bajalta and Nagrota to load construction material for various projects. The sand trolley earlier costed Rs 1,000. However, now its price has increased to Rs 2,500, which the customer refuses to pay,” said Arif Hussain, organisor member, Kisan Tractors’ Association, RS Pura.

The J&K High Court had two years ago imposed a ban to keep a check on the uncontrolled extraction of minerals from local rivers like the Tawi, the nullah near Sidhra bypass bridge, Jajjar nullah and Kattal Battal. Though the ban was imposed to save the Tawi riverbed on which four bridges are constructed, other sites of mining in the peripheries were not brought under the prohibition.

“The state should release a rate list for city tractor trailer drivers as they have to bring the material from far-off places. Besides, illegal mining is also going on unabated in the riverbed in connivance with officials against which no action is being taken,” alleged Talib Hussain, president of the association.

Farooq Ahmad Khan, director, geology and mining department, talking to The Tribune, said the ban extended from Sidhra Bridge to Fourth Bridge at Bhagwati Nagar while the further expanse of the Tawi was open for extraction at both ends. “Besides, there is a High Court direction which the tractor drivers have to abide,” he said. 

Sources in the department said despite the ban, unabated mining was a regular phenomenon which had not only been causing a huge loss to state exchequer but also damaging strategic bridges, causing soil erosion and impacting the course of the river.

“Mining and extraction has always been controlled by a powerful lobby. Though the department makes regular attempts to keep a check on its activities, the lobby has a strong political influence,” the source said.

Top Stories

LPG price hiked again by Rs 25, fourth increase in month’s time

LPG price hiked again by Rs 25, fourth increase in month’s time

Prices up by Rs 125 per 14.2-kg cylinder since the beginning...

Ruckus in Punjab Assembly over farm laws as Budget session begins

Ruckus in Punjab Assembly over farm laws as Budget session begins

Akalis raise slogans as Governor begins address; AAP MLAs ri...

Amidst border tension, Chinese hackers targeted India’s power through malware: US firm

Amidst border tension, Chinese hackers targeted India’s power through malware: US firm

Irresponsible to accuse a particular party when there is no ...

Prashant Kishor appointed principal adviser to Punjab CM

Prashant Kishor appointed principal adviser to Punjab CM

Kishor had played a crucial role in the 2017 state assembly ...

Modi takes first dose as age-specific Covid vaccine drive begins

Modi takes first dose as age-specific Covid vaccine drive begins

P Niveda from Puducherry administers Covaxin to the PM

Cities

View All