Illegal extraction of river products is happening in collusion with the authorities in Rautahat and Sarlahi in the name of development.

Though the mining companies are allowed to extract river products as per the set standard criteria, they have been flouting the criteria with the authority concerned staying apathetic to the need to regulate such activities.

The illegal excavation is happening in Rautahat's Bakaiya, Chandi, Jhim, Lakhandei and other rivers with the use of heavy machinery.

Out of 10 crusher industries registered with the government authority in Rautahat, eight are in operation, while six have received licence for washing. Locals said that a number of these crusher and mining companies are excavating river products using heavy equipment, putting the environment at risk. Locals have accused the monitoring committee of conducting mere formalities by way of monitoring and regulating these activities.

In Sarlahi too, illegal excavation has put the environment at risk. Here too, the authority concerned has been accused of ignoring the unauthorised activities happening right under its nose. Locals have charged that the illegal activity is happening in collusion with the staffers of the authority concerned.

As per data, 12 out of 16 crusher industries operating in Sarlahi are operating against the set criteria.

Regarding illegal extraction of river products, Province 2 chief DIG Dhiraj Pratap Singh stressed the need to stop the illegal extraction. He further informed that all police units in all the districts of the province have been told to stop illegal extraction being carried out by the crusher industries.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.