Contractor fined for illegal river mining

Biratnagar, June 23

Contractor Bhim Poudel was fined Rs 605,900 for illegally extracting and selling sand and stones from the Miklu and Solti rivers located in Urlabari Municipality, Morang.

After receiving a complaint against Poudel, Morang District Administration Office had formed a probe committee to investigate the matter.

According to Chief District Officer Ram Prasad Acharya, contractor Poudel was fined on the recommendation of the probe committee comprising technicians a few days ago.

The report prepared by the probe committee shows that the municipality too had failed to adopt measures to protect settlements which are at high risk of flood. The probe committee found that Poudel had extracted and sold sand and stones from 700 square metres area of the two rivers.

The probe committee found that contractor Poudel had sold boulders to black top roads in different wards of Urlabari Municipality. The committee concluded that Poudel had smuggled the boulders and stones. During the course of investigation, Poudel  said that he had extracted and sold the river-borne materials after Mayor KhadgaFago gave verbal nod.

Urlabari Municipality had decided to allocate Rs 4.5 million to channelise Solti and Miklukhola. Mayor Fago had assigned the contract to Poudel arbitrarily. Though the contract was given to him, the contract money has not been given to him due to the dispute.

Chief District Office Acharya said that contractor Poudel had paid the fine to the District Adminstration Office.