Srinagar, Oct 27: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch (CB) has initiated a probe against the sand mafia for extracting sand illegally from the river Jehlum.
The residents of Vethpora, Soitent, Batwara, Indiranagar, and Sonwar have written a letter to IGP Crime about the sand mafia active in these areas.
Following which the Crime Branch has initiated a probe and SSP Crime Srinagar as per an order CHQ-K-438+726/18 PVK-76/2018, PVK-76/2018 has been asked to investigate the matter.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar as per a communiqué, a copy of which lies with Kashmir News Service (KNS), has also written to Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Kashmir to look into the matter.
As per the letter submitted before the IGP Crime by the residents, the land mafia was converted into a sand mafia.
“No enquiry has been conducted by the concerned authorities till date. The involved brokers are still busy in the above said scam and no action has been taken against them till date,” the letter reads, a copy of which lies with Early Times.
The letter reads that persons/brokers have extracted all these willow plants and all the supports connected with the river banks for their own purposes. “The said act was not included in their work order,” it reads.
“They have extracted the sand from the banks of Jehlum in hundred crores of rupees and the whole safety of bands have come to the ground level.
These brokers are using the letter pads of the local mosques and the local mohalla committees for grant of extracting the clay as they have mentioned in it the false and fake leveling/filling of graveyards, play grounds etc,” the letter reads.
As per the residents, the “sand mafia,” has been taking full advantage of non-serious attitude of Irrigation and Flood Control Department.
“Sand mafia has been putting at risk, the lives of thousands of residents. For extracting sand, they have breached the river. Number of tippers can be seen, lifting the sand,” a local resident Sharif Ahmad of Rajbagh said.
“The movement of tippers shakes our houses, which were badly damaged because of the September 2014 floods,” he said. The residents said that sand extraction has been weakening the embankments of the river.
“They just place the silt along the embankments, which weakens the embankments. The weakening of embankments and breaching can prove fatal,” said another resident Imran Ahmad.
Referring to the September 2014 floods, the residents said that there is every chance that the water may enter into their locality, in case of floods.
“We suffered a lot because of September 2014 floods. We want to ensure our safety. We can go to any extent for that,” they said. Similar complaints are coming from several areas where people living on Jehlum banks said that sand mafia has made their lives into hell.
The residents said that they brought the issue into the notice of the concerned authorities several times but despite assurances, nothing happened.