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NGT bars J&K from mining in Ravi river while Punjab continues to do same

Last Updated on April 2, 2021 at 10:21 pm

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has declined requests by Jammu and Kashmir administration to mine in Ravi river because there were allegations of overexploitation of river bed.

Price of mineral products (like sand, bajri and stones) in many districts of Jammu region especially Kathua, Samba and Jammu have been constantly increasing because of limited permission granted for mining in various water bodies. One of the main reason behind this increase in price is that NGT has declined permission for mining in Ravi river along Jammu and Kashmir’s side.

Ravi river separates Jammu and Kashmir with Punjab in district Kathua. Residents of Kathua said that while NGT has declined Kathua’s requests, Punjab is constantly overexploiting river bed.

An environmentalist said that it is a mystery that why same rules are not being applied to the other side. He said that it is appreciable that NGT decided to stop over-exploitation of Ravi river along Jammu’s side but has not done anything to stop this exploitation from Punjab’s side. More than one hundred stone crushing units have been deployed from other side to continuously extract minerals and they have dug up vast stretches without any fear. River’s condition has not improved significantly in any way by NGT’s order but it has allowed Punjab to exploit the river bed.

A Geology and Mining department official admitted that Punjab has been continuously overexploiting the resources. He said that stone crushers of Punjab are not bound by any rule as they are openly extracting minerals. They have even moved some of their equipment to J&K side to extract minerals as there is no demarcation of the boundary between J&K and Punjab in river Ravi. He appealed that NGT authorities should interfere in the matter and impose a ban on Punjab too so that over-exploitation of river can be stopped.

He said that if NGT can’t stop overexploitation by the Punjab side, then they should also allow J&K so that people of Jammu don’t suffer from increased price of minor minerals.