Illegal mining endangering Himachal towns

PALAMUR : Despite ban imposed by the Apex Court in the state on the all mining and quarrying activities, the illegal and unscientific quarrying and mining in this region of the state has resulted in large-scale deforestation, landslides and flash floods in past two years. Situation in Palampur, Baijnath and Jaisinghpur sub divisions of this region is no better as over 20000 hectares of land has seriously been affected by the mining, quarrying and other construction activities resulting in drastic reshaping of landscape.

The mining and quarrying has posed serious threat to the existence of over three dozens of irrigation and drinking water supply schemes. The existence of Kirpal Chand Khual passing through this town feeding over twenty panchyats comprising 100 villages of Palampur, Bhawarans and Daroh Blocks and Charnamati and Lower Baijnath Kuhals feeding fifteen panchayat of Baijnath block is in danger because of continuous mining in its catchments areas.

In the absence of any mining policy in the state, the large-scale illegal and unscientific mining, quarrying in this region of Himachal Pradesh is not only creating environmental imbalances but also causing huge loss to the state exchequer every year. At present the state has no stringent law to deal with the situation. The increasing political interference in functioning of the State Mining Departments has made the matter worse. In the present scenario State government is loosing revenue worth crore of rupees every year.

Official sources confirmed that in most of the cases the persons involved in this illegal activities have no legal rights to extract the sand, stone, bajri and other raw material from these khuds and quarries, but because of political protection to the offenders the administration has become silent spectator, officials are liberally granting them no objection certificates for extraction of stone, sand and other raw material

If no timely actions were taken over two dozen drinking water supply schemes in Kangra would go dry in next five years, which get water from Neugal, Binwa and other khuds, water level of not only Neugal but also other khuds like Binwa, Gaj, Baner, Awa, Bathoo, Mol and Bhiral had also gone down in past five years.  These khuds are the major source of drinking water for two hundred water supply schemes of the Kanagra district. It may be recalled that in last summers the people of the state had experienced a worst ever drought conditions and most of these khuds had gone dry as early as in the month of April and May.

A senior journalist from Palampur.

1 Comment

  • It is very bold step that someone has come up against illigal mining and its effects to the region at large and has taken heart to write against the pollitical intervention in promoting this illigal and hazard causing mining in this part of the Himachal also known as DEVBHOOMI.I am to write here such an activity is also continuing in Sirmour part of the Himachal where already High powered monitoring committee has been appointed By the High Court of Hp but due to pollitical intervention and dilldoll part of concerned officials no action is being taken against this unlawful and careless mining which has many many far reaching adverse consequences.I wish someday God will awaken the so called officials from slumber and take appropriate action.May God’s will prevail over money pollution of the mind.

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