Nurpur, August 27
Implementing the state government orders, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. (HPSEBL) on Saturday disconnected the power supply of as many as 56 stone crusher units in Kangra district. Out of these, 50 stone crushers are installed in the lower Kangra region comprising Nurpur, Indora, Jawali and Fatehpur sub divisions.
Local environmentalists and people affected by illegal mining have welcomed the decision of the state government to stop the operations of all stone crushers on both perennial and non- perennial rivulets of Beas river basin and its tributaries.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu had announced the decision on August 22 after considering the alarming transformation of the ecosystem during the current monsoon season, which witnessed heavy rainfall and massive landslides, wreaking havoc downstream in the Beas river basin and its tributaries in Kangra, Kullu, Mandi and Hamirpur districts besides Chakki rivulet in Nurpur sub division.
As per HPSEBL authorities, the electricity supply of maximum 33 stone crushers in Indora subdivision where Beas and Chhonchh rivers flow have been disconnected followed by 7 in Nurpur sub division where stone crushers units have been set up in Chakki rivulet. The HPSEBL has disconnected power supply of five crushers each in Fatehpur and Jawali sub divisions whereas remaining 6 units are in Dharamshala and Gaggal areas in Kangra district.
Intriguingly, the operations of the stone crushers have already been mandatorily banned during monsoon season but offenders were indulging in illegal mining by descending their JCBs and other machinery in the riverbeds to extract minerals (raw material) from local rivulets during nights. The environmentalists and local villagers had submitted countless memorandums and complaints during the past few years to the state authorities demanding to declare Chakki rivulet a no- mining zone but all went unheeded.
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