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Illegal sand mining on the rise on Kharkai and Subarnarekha River banks

Jamshedpur, Oct. 27: Unlawful sand mining has become active along the course of the Kharkai and Subarnarekha rivers.

Excavation of sand, mostly illegal, to meet the growing requirements of the booming construction industry in and around Jamshedpur has put the East Singhbhum mining officials on their toes.

Though excavation of sand from river ghats has been banned, but for slum-dwellers residing along Kadma-Sonari Marine Drive the business of piling up and selling sands is on the rise.

They are aided by a section of unscrupulous builders and real estate promoters. According to information, the slum-dwellers are using the service lane of the Marine Drive for collecting sand from the Subarnarekha River. As a result, the pedestrians are forced to walk on the Marine Drive instead of using its service lane, thereby inviting mishaps.

After the Marine Drive’s service lane became operational in March this year it was being used largely by the morning and evening walkers. But the area has now turned into sand piling zone.

Regular sand excavation along the banks of the Subarnarekha River is threatening the ecology in the area as thousands of tonnes of sand are being lifted every day. However, locals regret that the concerned authorities are neglecting the issue.

Moreover, depletion of water tables has rendered bore-wells useless in the area. According to information, on an average, each woman engaged in the business of illegal sand mining earns Rs. 150 daily, while those running the business earn anything between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per day.

When the issue was brought to the notice of the officer-in-charge of Kadma police station, Shanker Thakur, he said that they would take the necessary step to stop the illegal practice of piling up sand on the Marine Drive.

He assured that a team would visit the site to examine the situation and initiate necessary action.

The Marine Drive Western Corridor project links Sakchi, Kadma and Sonari with Adityapur toll bridge and was conceived to keep heavy vehicles off city roads, thus getting rid of traffic snarls in Jamshedpur. Construction on the project started in June 2012.

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