Smuggling of river products up

Chitwan, May 8

Smuggling of various river products such as boulders, sand, soil and gravel, among others, has been grown alarmingly in Chitwan district of late.

As the district development committee failed to award contracts for extraction of river products, smuggling of these items has gone up.

Leaders of major political parties in the district and DDC officials found that river products were being smuggled during monitoring on Friday afternoon.

Badri Timalsina, district chairperson of Rastriya Prajatantra Party and a member of the monitoring team, said that they found a large number of trucks, tractors and trippers being used for smuggling the items.

He argued, “Illegal trading of river products has gone up massively due to negligence on the part of the police administration and district development committee.

Stating that smugglers were storing a large amount of river products, Timalsina said they were selling the products to commoners and real estate entrepreneurs at exorbitant prices.

He said, “A number of development projects have been halted due to paucity of construction materials in the district, but the smugglers have been illegally trading with contractors.”

It is said the district denizens have been importing construction materials from neighbouring districts, including Makawanpur and Nawalparasi at exorbitant prices.

President of Nepali Congress Chitwan Jeet Narayan Shrestha, CPN-UML leader Govinda Kandel, UCPN-Maoist leader Ghana Shyam Dahal, RPP’s Badri Timalsina and Local Development Officer Shrawan Kumar Pokhrel are in the monitoring panel.

With the parties starting monitoring, the local administration has also intensified cross-checking on the river banks of late.

According to District Police Office Chitwan Chief SP Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, they took at least six tractors under control from Kayar Khola and Shaktikhor Khola yesterday.

In fact, the district development committee failed to award contracts for extraction of river products due to lack of approval from the council of ministers and Rastrapati Chure Conservation Committee.

Local Development Officer Dhrawan Kumar Pokhrel said they had not been able to provide 375,000 square cube construction materials demanded by government offices and the DDC.

He said that human settlements in several places had been facing crisis due to lack of proper river products in Rapti, Narayani, Khageri, Kayar, Shaktikhor and Lothar, among other rivers of the district.