Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Illegal Mining in Jammu and Kashmir

Illegal mining of sand and pebbles in various nullahs across Jammu-Lakhanpur Highway sector has caused serious damage to at least two major bridges, namely Devak and Balole. Portions of basements of these vital bridges have got exposed and partly washed away by the floods during current monsoons. Mining mafia has been lifting sand, stones and pebbles close to the basement pillars of the bridges rendering them vulnerable to flash flood damages. Despite a ban imposed by the authorities on illegal mining, the illegal activity continues unabated, mostly at night or in early hours. This is not possible without the connivance of supervising authorities supposed to impose the ban strictly. The cost of repairs to the damaged bridges, as disclosed by the authorities, will run into many crore rupees besides consuming several months for bringing it to completion. This is a major anti-national act and deserves to be taken serious note of. Persons involved in these clandestine activities should be given exemplary punishment. The mining mafia has to be exposed and their connections and conduits should be prosecuted under the law. Lifting of construction material obtained from the nullahs should be banned 500 meters up and down the site of all bridges of this crucial national highway.

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