Illegal crusher plants are still operating in Sarlahi freely, in collusion with district monitoring committee officials and security officials, who turn a blind eye to the illegal activity.

In Manpur Tole of Basabariya Rural Municipality alone, there are three illegal crusher plants operating at Bhaisasur Ghat on the banks of the Bagmati River. According to local sources, the illegal crusher plants are said to be exploiting the river with the support of the rural municipality chairperson and Chief Administrative Officer Ram Pragas Yadav.

There are allegations that the rural municipality's permission for excavation at the site on the basis of the previous report prepared years ago, at present, is illegal too.

Officials with oversight into the matter have been accused of condoning random excavation of river products by illegally operating crusher plants, and thus abetting the exploitation of the river.

The contract to excavate has been signed for a very low amount. Baba Construction of Manpur secured the excavation contract for just 1.3 million rupees. There are reports that the company got the contract at a cheap price owing to its major owner Ram Gyan Raya, who has close relations with CAO Yadav.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 27, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.