Illegal extraction from rivers goes unabated in Kanchanpur

DHANGADHI: Illegal extraction from rivers has been going on unabated in Krishnapur Municipality of Kanchanpur district of late.

According to locals, pebbles, stones, sand and other river-related materials are being extracted from Bachhela, Khar and Odali rivers in Krishnapur-1 of the district, however, the authorities have turned a deaf ear.

Earlier, Aishwarya Community Forest had protested the extraction of river materials, however, people have been continuing the extraction claiming that the community forest have no claim on the rivers, according to Aishwarya Community Forest Chair Ram Singh Dhami. He further said, the people have been extracting materials during the night after the community forest prevented them from doing so during the day-time.

He added that they have been getting threats for trying to prevent the extraction. The extraction activities in the rivers should be regulated and royalty should be paid to the municipality, Dhami added.

Krishnapur-1 chair Mohan Bahadur Basnet admitted that extraction has been going on in the rivers, but that they have not been able to stop it.

River mining has been going on within 200 metres of the bridge over Donda river along the East-West Highway in Krishnapur-2. However, an Environmental Impact Assessment Report stipulates that it is illegal to extract river-related materials within 500 metres upstream and downstream from the highway, auxiliary highways, bridges, culverts, canals, and dams.

Prem Bogati, Information Officer at Krishnapur Municipality said that the municipality has signed an agreement for the extraction of river-related materials from four rivers in the municipality at Rs 22.9 million.

Bogati, meanwhile, denied having knowledge of any extraction near a highway and claimed that nobody has lodged a complaint. He said, should there be such activities, the municipality would take action against such aggressors.

(Translated by: Sandeep Sen, Edited by: Priyanka Adhikari)