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Mafia illegally extracting resources from the river bed in Rajouri

Last Updated on January 3, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Mining mafia, unafraid of district administration, is mining and selling stones and river bed material (RBM) from Manawar river pass illegally. A massive amount of these extracted RBM is dumped near Valley View Army Public School (VVAPS) Panjpeer, Rajouri. The government is yet to officially allot the mining from various locations for Rajouri district.

This raises a question that if government has not given any legal contract to anyone, then how can somebody mine illegally under broad daylight?

A local activist said that the mining mafia is operating like any other (fruit-vegetable) mandis. Even small signboards with contact numbers are put up in open for dealers indicating that the mafias have no fear of any government action. The material for the site is extracted from Salani Bridge area mostly in night hours. The activist said that he called the number written on the signboard to confirm if they are doing the business. The person on the other side replied that he is selling a dumper of RBM for 3200 rupees. He said that the business continues throughout day and night.

A local news reporter informed that at another site, same illegal business is going on in another part of the Manawar river, near Dhangri area of the Rajouri district. There both men and machinery are employed to extract stone and other material daily without any hurdle. At least two dozen stone crushers are also used on this river from Darhal to Nowshera sub-division. Unholy nexus between the district administration and mining mafia allows these illegal miners to mine with assurance from the government authorities that there will be no government hindrance.

When J S Pawar, district mining officer Rajouri was contacted then he said that because of shortage of required manpower and poor infrastructure, the department is having problems incountering these illegal miners. He said that they keep a vigil in the day time, but not during the night as there is an increased possibility of an attack on his team and he doesn’t want to put his team in danger.

Special Task Force was constituted by Jammu and Kashmir Government for curbing illegal mining on the banks of River Tawi with Addl DC (Law & Order) Jammu as its chairman, SP Hqrs Jammu, Assistant Conservator of Forests Jammu and District Mineral Officer (DMO) Jammu as its members. The team has stopped land mafias to some extent and seized hundreds of vehicles and machines in some parts of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, but they don’t seem to make any effort in Rajouri.