Srinagar, Sep 2: Government has identified spots for sand extraction to reduce the impact of illegal sand mining on the rivers.
Illegal sand mining has been going on in several parts of Kashmir, severely affecting the rivers.
Now, the Geology and Mining Department has carried out a survey and identified the places where the sand extraction should be allowed.
As per the survey report, the river Jhelum is main drainage endowed with sand resources to meet the local requirements of the developmental works of the district.
The most suitable place for accumulation of sand, the report says, is the curve of meandering of river where the “its flow diminishes and centrifugal force creates conducive atmosphere for deposition of sediments”.
“The central portion of river Jhelum from Rajbagh to Cement Bridge Qamarwari being in the heart of the Srinagar city is discouraged for extraction of sand,” the report has suggested.
For the last four years, 76162 metric tons of sand have been extracted from the Jhelum in Srinagar, it says.
The report also mentions Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India notification, which makes it mandatory to obtain environmental clearance for different kinds of development projects including mining.
The course of the river Jhelum and its tributaries mainly through the country rocks including basaltic and limestone terrain and alluvial, and Karewa plains laden with sandy material in their composition produces bulk quantity of sand.
An official of Irrigation and Flood Control Department said the government has been receiving complaints about illegal sand extraction at Rajbagh and its adjoining localities.
The areas have become vulnerable to floods due to weakening of the embankments of the river in several areas of Srinagar.
“The residents of Rajbagh, Sonawar residing along the Jehlum complained several times that sand mafia has been putting the lives of thousands of residents at risk,” the official said.
Following which, the official said, the survey was conducted by the Geology and Mining Department.
“The department may adhere the suggestions of the report to stop illegal mining, which will affect river environment,” he said.
Amir Ahmad, a resident of Rajbagh, said, “The movement of trucks shakes our houses, which were already damaged because of the September 2014 floods.”