Monitoring finds local reps colluding in illegal mining of river products


The District Monitoring Committee Jhapa has said that encroachment on the district-based rivers is taking place in connivance among local representatives.

The high-level committee formed under the convenorship of District Coordination Committee chief Somnath Portel shared information about this through a press meet here yesterday. The committee warned that it could come up stern against such illegal works if not stopped instantly.

The two-month monitoring carried out by the committee based in several rivers and crusher industries and the report about this was unveiled at the same program.

The ongoing river-based excavation works (almost all rivers), its collection and supplies are in the open violation of the standard.

Local representatives and contractors have been found joining hands together to promote the unethical business.

“Kamal, Kachankawal, Jhapa, Gauradha and Birtamod have so far not conducted the initial environmental examination (IEE),” said coordinator Portel.

Though other rural municipalities and municipalities have completed this task, works related to excavation of river products are underway unlawfully. The IEE determines the level of excavation and the ways for so and the IEE and approval is mandatory before carrying out the excavation in rivers

The monitoring committee had monitored the Mechi, Ninda, Hadiya, Biring, Kankai, Ratuwa and Mawa rivers. It had carried out on-site monitoring of Kanchanjangha Crusher Industry in Birtamod, the Bhagawati Aggregate Industry at Arjundhara, the Jaya Ghatal Aggregate Industry and Mangal Shree Crusher Industry.

The monitoring report states that the river-based construction materials are being mined in most of the rivers by flouting the standard.

The Chief District Officer, the Superintendent of Police, the Armed Police Force’s Superintendent and the chief of the District Forestry Division Office are the members of the monitoring committee. The District Coordination Officer is the member-secretary of the committee.

The crusher industries should be two kilometers away from school, hospital and settlements. Similarly, there is also the rule which states that the river-based aggregate mining should be carried out 500 meters away from bridge. It is stated that this rule is found flouted by the crusher industries, monitoring committee coordinator Portel said.

Committee member and Chief District Officer, Janak Raj Dahal, said the real situation as found from the monitoring has been presented in the report in the first phase while the municipalities and rural municipalities concerned have been reminded of the standard.

“We expect the people’s representatives in the municipalities and rural municipalities will take steps to over-exploitation of the rivers. If anyone disobeys the rules, action would be taken against them as per the laws,” he said.

The state governments have been given the right to provide licenses for the aggregate mining from the rivers and streams. The state governments have delegated this right to the local governments.

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