Wanton excavations jeopardising development works


Random excavations conducted at various places have put development works at risk here.

The excavation of sand, soil and stones from places near the canal built under the Rani-Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project has depressed the embankment.

The unchecked excavation is badly affecting the embankment built along the Bargad and Basukhola streams to support the canal, said Information Officer of the project, Premala Siwa. “The excavation has lowered the embankment,” she said, seeking attention from the concerned sides to check the irregularity.

Such random digging has also affected the settlements nearby. As a rule, the river products cannot be excavated within 500 metres of a river, canal or any other infrastructure.

But, the excavations are being carried out as close as 100 metres of the Chori and Charaila streams. Such illegal mining has direct bearing on the project structures and human settlements as well, said engineer Jiban Bohara.

“It seems neither any public office bearer nor the project has paid attention to protection of the infrastructure constructed for development,” he said, underscoring the immediate need of monitoring by the respective local level.

Information Officer Siwa argued that the local levels had allowed the contractors to carry out such illegal excavation. The contractors are randomly conducting mining of river products. “The contractors were urged time and again to conduct mining as per the rules and standards, but in vain,” Siwa lamented.

She added that Lamkichuha Municipality had been written to stop the illegal excavation. Even the coordinator of the District Coordination Committee, and mayor of Lamkichuha Municipality have been made aware lately. “They only give verbal commitment but do not take concrete action to control it,” she blamed.

However, Mayor Mahadev Bajgain said they had warned the contractors repeatedly and efforts were underway to curb illegal works effectively. “The contractors are reminded that they were violating the provisions in the EIA they submitted,” he said, adding that a people’s representative was also assigned to inspect whether there were illegal excavations.