Locals ban illegal extraction of sand, stones from rivers

Gaighat, January 3

Locals of wards 8 and 9 of Triyuga Municipality have banned illegal extraction from the local rivers of Udayapur.

Locals launched the village protection campaign last year and banned extraction of river materials after IEC Lama and Sharma JV Contractors were found extracting river materials illegally and putting the entire village at high risk. The construction company has been extracting sand, gravel, and other river related materials illegally for construction of the Dharan-Chatara-Rampur-Gaighat-Hetauda road section.

River mining was halted following complaints from locals last year. “We had stopped the illegal work last year after the whole village was put at high risk of flood in the rainy season,” said Bishnu Dev Chaudhary, a local.  He said all the villagers had raised their voice in unity after contractors carried on illegal extraction from rivers this time as well.

Another local, Ramwati Chaudhary, said the authority concerned paid no heed even though they had given application to the authorities to control the flood last year. “We were compelled to spend several sleepless nights during the rainy season thinking that the river might sweep away the village at any time,” she added. She said the state had imposed tax on river mining activities, but their plight was ignored.

The authority concerned has given permission to extract from the rivers up to four feet, but the contractor companies are extracting materials up to six or seven metres.

Sub-engineer Sanjaya Sah of the construction company said Rs 2.6 million tax was submitted to Triyuga Municipality for the same.