Illegal sandstone mining affecting ecology in IOK Kupwara

Srinagar, August 03, 2015 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, despite ban on extraction of stones, boulders and sand from streams in Kupwara district, the illegal practice is going on unabated at various areas disturbing the ecology of the area. The residents of in Kupwara, Lolab, Kehmil and Mawar said the practice was affecting agricultural activities as the water level in these streams was decreasing, leading to shortage of irrigation and drinking water.

“Some years ago, there were dozens of springs and streams flowing through this area. Now the water level is decreasing in these streams due to illegal extraction of sand and boulders,” said chairman of Mawar Forum, Mohammad Maqbool to local media men, “Besides this indiscriminate extraction is disintegrating rocks in the streams, making the low-lying residential areas more prone to floods,” he added.

He said the stone-crusher units operate on the banks of the streams for about six to eight hours daily, extracting tonnes of stones and sand. Heavy vehicles including tippers, tractors and JCB machines are used by contractors for extraction of sand and boulders from the streams, which is then transported to other areas in the district. At Mawar Nullah in Langate tehsil, stones and boulders are indiscriminately extracted which is ravaging the ecology of the area, said secretary of Mawar Forum, Itequla Beigh. He warned that if authorities do not put an end to this destruction, people of the area would start an agitation.

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Kashmir Media Service
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