Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mockery of NGT regulations as illegal sand mining thrives in Balurghat

Himalayan Paths

Mail News Service

Baharagora, Sept 14: In spite of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regulations in place, illegal sand mining continues to thrive in Balurghat region with hundreds of tractors clandestinely transporting sand from the banks of the Chitreshwar River in Jharkhand and the Bhathandiya River in West Bengal. The tractor owners a la smart Alec, ensure that their vehicles used in transporting illegally mined sand operate without number plates thus making it difficult for authorities to track their activities.

The bordering areas of Jharkhand and Bengal have become a haven for sand mafia, as they fearlessly engage in illegal operations. The sand mafias coordinate their activities 24×7 by keeping in touch with the tractor drivers and agents through long-distance calls to ensure smooth transportation of sand-loaded tractors.

This method allows drivers to easily reach their destination without any hindrance. It may be mentioned that just a week ago, the administration seized a Hiwa near the Baharagora Over Bridge. Subsequently, the administration took measures to cut off the rough roads leading to Balurghat from Panipada by putting to use JCB machines. But the sand mafias have multiple tricks up their sleeves to hoodwink the watchful eyes of law enforcers. They are known for their adaptability and this was evident when they shifted their illegal sand mining activities to other sand banks to nullify all efforts to put brakes on their trade.

At present, focus is trained on the new Regional Officer of Balurghat, Bhola Shankar Mahto to gauge his acumen in putting paid to sand mafias’ nefarious designs of illegal sand mining and transportation.

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