Bara CDO confiscates keys of excavators illegally extracting river materials

BARA: Chief District Officer (CDO) of Bara district, Phadindra Mani Pokharel, confiscated the keys of two excavators involved in illegal extraction of river materials.

With the increase in public complaints about such extractions, which would risk the settlements closeby and adversely impact the overall environment, CDO Pokharel had carried out an inspection at Pasaha river in the district.

Keys of the excavators with registration (Na 1 Ka 4977) and (Ba 1 Ga 6790) were confiscated on Friday when they were found to be extracting sand and gravels from Pasaha river, without compliance of the specified standard, stated CDO Pokharel.

The extraction, however, has not stopped.

"We cannot take any action from the District Administration Office as the responsibility now falls upon the local levels. Therefore, I sent a letter to the District Coordination Committee along with the keys of the two excavators for necessary measures. However, it seems that the keys have been returned," lamented CDO Pokharel.

Pasaha river, which falls in Jitpur Simara Sub-Metropolitan City, is highly affected by the extraction. The illegal activity has been taking place unabated in Pasaha, Balganga, Dudhaura, and Bakaiya rivers that flow from the Chure region in Nepal and enter the plains of India.

Contractors have been given the job to extract river materials by local levels but within a certain limit. However, it has been found that they are digging giant holes and extracting materials over the permitted limits.

As per accepted standard allowed by the environmental impact assessment (EIA), extractions can be carried out from within the depth of three feet from the surface. This too depends on other factors such as the course of the river. However, the contractors go as deep as nine feet to extract river materials.

Piluwa, Dakaha, Badaharwa, Kusmadi, Jaitapur, Bhodaha among many other settlements would be at risk if such extractions continue.

Locals blame the local government of inaction and say that strict supervision must be carried out by the authorities concerned. They are of the opinion that there must be strict laws in place to check such irresponsible actions of the contractors.

(Translated by Priyanka Adhikari)