District Monitoring Committee, Jhapa, has concluded that illegal extraction of river products is being carried out in the district in collusion with local representatives.
The high-level committee formed under the convenorship of District Coordination Committee Chief SomnathPortel revealed this at a press meet yesterday. The committee warned that it would take stern action against people involved in illegal extraction of river products.
The committee had monitored Mechi, Ninda, Hadiya, Biring, Kankai, Ratuwa and Mawa rivers. It had carried out on-site monitoring of Kanchanjangha Crusher Industry in Birtamod, Bhagawati Aggregate Industry at Arjundhara, Jaya Ghatal Aggregate Industry and Mangal Shree Crusher Industry. The monitoring report states that the river products are being extracted from most of the rivers in the district by flouting government-set criteria.
Chief district officer, superintendent of police, armed police force’’s superintendent of police and chief of the District Forestry Division Office are the members of the monitoring committee. District coordination officer is the member-secretary of the committee.
The crusher industries should be two kilometres away from school, hospital and settlements. Similarly, there is also the rule which states that the river-based aggregate mining should be carried out 500 metres away from a bridge. “Most of the crusher industries have been found flouting the criteria,” said monitoring committee coordinator Portel.
Committee member and Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal said the real situation as found during the monitoring had mentioned in the report. “We expect that the people’s representatives in the municipalities and rural municipalities will take steps to stop the exploitation of the rivers. If anyone violates the rules, action will be taken against them as per the law,” he said.
The provincial governments have been given the authority to provide licence for aggregate mining from rivers and streams.