Illegal extraction of river products rampant in Siraha amid lockdown

SIRAHA: Taking advantage of the extended nationwide lockdown, local contractors, in collusion with local representatives and security agencies, have been illegally extracting river-borne materials from Kamala river, bordering between Siraha and Dhanusha districts, in recent times.

A day after agreeing not to use excavators to extract riverine products, the contractors, however, used equipment for the same, near Karjanaha Municipality-6, said ward chair Jagdish Mahato.

"The contractors have been illegally digging large amount of river products for a few days," Mahato shared adding that the contractors also attacked local youths who had reached the site to stop their illegal activities.

Despite forging consensus with local representatives and security agencies not to use excavators for extracting river products, the contractors have been using the machinery for the same for the last two days, one of the locals, said.

However, In-charge of Area Police Office, Mirchaiya, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Santulal Jaiswal, said, police have been mobilised to stop the illegal activities at the river.

Mayor Ganga Paswan of Karjanaha Municipality was unavailable for comments despite repetitive attempts to reach him today.

Mayor Ram Babu Yadav of Ganeshman Charnath Municipality in Dhanusha distrtict, said, the excavators were used in coordination with the district development committee.

Siraha District Coordination Committee Chairperson Ram Chandra Thakur said, a meeting was held today between the local representatives, security agencies, and chief district officer which decided to immediately halt all illegal activities and monitor the area.

Illegal extraction of river materials has continued unabated in the areas even after attention of the concerned authorities has been drawn, locals lamented.