Dhading, January 21
Most of the crusher industries in Dhading were found to be operating unlawfully.
Prevailing laws of the land, apex court order, and the Cabinet decision have set criteria for the crusher industries to operate. Unfortunately, most of the industries have failed to meet the set standards.
Out of 50 registered crusher industries, as many as 37 are operating in Dhading. According to Kishor Sapkota, chief of Cottage and Small Industry Development Committee, Dhading, crusher industries have not renewed their registration for the past five years. He added that licences could not be renewed in as per the old standards and new criteria were yet to be prepared for their renewal.
The old provisions have a host of rules for industries to abide by. They have to abide by all the points of the preliminary environment test report, shed for crusher machine, plantation of trees at the buffer zone, and establishing industry two kilometres away from the thick forest. Crusher industries, however, have failed to abide by these criteria and standards.
Natural Resource Conservation Campaign campaigner Uttam Kandel said that the three levels of the government had done nothing to regulate industries violating the rules, let alone punishing them.
Crusher industries have to be two kilometres away from educational institutions, health facilities, religious, cultural and archaeologically important sites. They have to be two kilometres away from the forest, human settlements, high tension line and the international border, among others, according to Dhading District Coordination Committee Chief Jagannath Nepal. After formation of the local level government, the DAO has been relieved of its right to shut down illegal mines and crusher industries.
Dhading CDO Ashman Tamang said that the DAO could not do anything as the prerogative had been transferred to the local level in connection with conservation of natural resources.
Last year, DAO had decided that anyone found involved in illegal mining of river products would have to face ten years in prison and pay a fine up to one million rupees.
A version of this article appears in print on January 22, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.