Anantnag, May 26: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, some people are busy in illegal extraction of sand and boulders in Brengi and Sandran Nallahs at Dooru of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Sources told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that some unscrupulous people are extracting sand and boulders from Brengi and Sandran Nallahs for round the clock.
“It seems sand extraction mafia is hand in glove with some officials of Geology and Mining Department as the later is not taking any measures to stop illegal extraction of sand and boulders,” Bashir Ahmad, a local said.
Ahmad said the extraction has been going on near Lalan Bridge, Soduora, Schicean, Zadoora Mir Bazaar and several other areas.
Locals said the extractors were taking advantage of COVID-19. “As people prefer to stay inside their homes, these people carry out illegal extraction during day and night hours. No one is stopping them,” they said.
The illegal extraction has also hit the farmers in surroundings of these Nallahs. Locals said that use of JCB is increasing the depth of the Nallahs which hinders the flow of water to farmland and orchards.
“Earlier, we somehow managed with the rain which used to keep our farmland irrigated to some extent. This year, even the rains have been scarce and we are staring at a bleak year,” said a fruit grower Mohammad Sidiq.
District Mining Officer Anantnag Suhail Ahmad assured he will take the action. “I recently took over here and made 32 seizures. Since you brought into my notice, I assure you we won’t allow illegal extraction and take necessary action,” he told news agency KINS.
While Director Geology and Mining J&K did not respond to phone calls.