Harsher penalty set for illegal river mining

Many crusher industries in Dhading are operating without following government rules

Dhading, February 9

Anyone found involved in illegal mining of river products in Dhading will have to face 10 years in prison and pay a fine up to one million rupees now onwards.

The strict punishment was introduced keeping in view the fact that lax punishment had been ineffective in controlling indiscriminate mining of river products for construction work.

Considering the illegal practice thriving despite warning from the authorities, a committee under the District Administration Office renewed its call to stop such illegal practice altogether.

The committee also told the chairs of Gajuri, Galchhi and Thakre rural municipalities to stop illegal extraction of sand and stones from the rivers and streams in their areas of  jurisdiction and take action against anyone defying the local levels’ directives.

The committee comprising Dhading Chief District Officer BhagirathPande, District Coordination Committee chief Jagannath Nepal, Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar Baidawar, National Investigation Office chief, among others, met the chairpersons of the rural municipalities at their offices.

“Excessive exploitation of rivers for extraction of sand and stones not only changes the course of rivers, but also creates a number of hazards including floods. So we are  committed to taking action against any crusher industry illegally extracting sand and stones going against the government criteria and rules,” said CDO Pande.

Further, Pande justified the stricter punishment on the grounds that many crusher industries were still operating in the district flouting the government rules.

“As our frequent calls to the crusher operators and others who have been involved in illegally mining river products weren’t heeded, we introduced the harsh punishment for anyone flouting the government’s directives,” the CDO explained.

According to the Monitoring Committee, machines used in illegal excavation will be seized.

The committee pointed to the danger that such excessive exploitation of the rivers would cause to the human settlements, besides changing the course of the rivers.