Bardibas, March 2
Locals in Bhangaha Municipality, Mahottari, have been protesting rampant extraction of sand and pebbles from the Ratu River.
A team from the district coordination committee during an inspection found most of crusher industries in the area operating illegally. “The team found that most of the crusher industries operating illegally. But no efforts have been made to remove them,” said Mukunda Dahal, vice-chairperson of Bhangaha Rural Municipality.
The rally was attended by hundreds of locals. Protesters demanded that the authorities concerned take action against crusher plants operating illegally. They said they were compelled to stage protest as illegal excavation of sand and stones from rivers went unchecked.
Meanwhile, Santosh Mahato, 24, a local, said they were threatened not to show concern about the operation of crusher industries. He claimed that the monitoring of the crusher industries by the DCC team was just a formality.
Currently, 19 crusher industries are in operation on the banks of the Ratu River. Locals have accused local representatives of providing protection to crusher operators.
Bhangaha-4 ward chair Ashok Kumar Mahato denied the allegation. No local government has favoured crusher industries, he said.
Meanwhile, the District Coordination Committee has called on crusher industries not to violate the operation standards. DCC has also received complaints that crusher plants are operating illegally.
A version of this article appears in print on March 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.