Haridwar: To the surprise of residents, (a week back on June 23) heavy gear mining machinery landed at Ganga River bed near Shyampur village on the Haridwar Najibabad road and started channelizing the river.
Not only the heavy duty excavators and JCB excavator – loader machines started digging and diverting the flow of water to one side but tractors with big trolleys and dumper trucks began to lift rocks from the river bed.
On being questioned, the people carrying out the activity claimed to have a contract for channelizing the river so as to prevent floods.
A call by an alert citizen journalist to the police about illegal mining being carried out under the garb of channelizing River Ganga, did not help as the activity carried on unchecked.
Residents on the exposed banks are a worried lot for they fear that temporary barriers being laid through re-channeling the river would not only erode fertile lands but would also divert the water flow into unprotected areas.