Pine trees damaged by illegal mining on Neugal river bank : The Tribune India

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Pine trees damaged by illegal mining on Neugal river bank

Pine trees damaged by illegal mining on Neugal river bank

Mining mafia is playing havoc with the nature in Bagora forest



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, March 22

Dozens of pine trees on the bank of Neugal river adjoining Palampur have been damaged or uprooted by the mining mafia while extracting sand and boulders from pine forests. Information gathered reveals that the mafia is active in the forest of Bagora area of Palampur and extracting mining material with the help of JCB machines resulting in widespread damage to standing pine trees.

Illegal mining main reason

  • Information reveals that the mining mafia is active in the forest of Bagora area of Palampur and extracting mining material with the help of JCB machines resulting in widespread damage to standing pine trees in the area
  • Despite a video of illegal mining in Bagora forest damaging hundreds of trees has gone viral on social media, no action has been taken against by police and mining department so far

Despite the fact that a video of illegal mining in Bagora forest damaging hundreds of forest trees has gone viral in social media, no action has been taken against the mafia by police, the forest and mining department so far. During a visit to the spot, The Tribune team found a number of trees with their roots badly exposed. Many had even collapsed. In high velocity, more trees could be uprooted as they had no support and open roots. (see pictures)

Several local residents said that despite repeated complaints made to the concerned officials and helpline number of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu no action had been taken. Finally, they decided to approach media so that illegal mining in dense forests could be stopped.

Despite serious observations made by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against large-scale illegal mining in Beas river and its tributaries in Kangra district, illegal mining is going on unchecked.

A few months ago, Deputy Commissioner Kangra had initiated measures against the offenders. He had directed the police to book illegal miners under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for stealing public property, which is a non-bailable offence. The state government has authorised all SDMs to confiscate property of illegal miners and also allowed them to auction the same to recover the fines. However, the mining mafia is still active.

DSP Palampur Lokinder Negi said the matter had come to his notice and action would be taken against the mafia. He would request the forest department to book offenders.

Meanwhile, Divisional Forest Officer Palampur Sanjiv Sharma said the forest department had already investigated the matter and offenders would be booked under the law.

#Illegal Mining #Palampur


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