Palampur, April 26
The Himachal Pradesh Forest Department today dug up roads constructed unlawfully by the mining mafia on forest land to transport sand and gravel from an illegal mining site adjoining the Neugal river near the government college in Thural, about 30 km from here. The Tribune had recently highlighted how large-scale illegal mining had caused damage to a bridge, roads and water schemes.
Forest officials along with a large number of police personnel reached the spot and dug up deep trenches on the roads with the help of JCB machines to curb the movement of trucks, tippers and tractor-trailers. Warning the violators, the police said those flouting the mining ban would be dealt with sternly.
The residents of Thural in Kangra district had recently protested against the illegal mining and had alleged massive damage to environment. “The illegal mining was not only resulting in large-scale environmental degradation, but also causing a daily loss of lakhs of rupees to the exchequer,” a resident said.
Palampur Divisional Forest Officer Nitin Patil said they conducted demarcation and got the approach roads dismantled. “No one will be allowed to enter the forest area for illegal mining. Violators will face stern action,” he said.
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