MP: Miners Rule The Roost in Son Gharial Sanctuary; Officials Mum

MP: Miners Rule The Roost in Son Gharial Sanctuary; Officials Mum

According to sources, the officials of the sanctuary and those of the mining department are hand in glove with the miners who are causing a loss of crores of rupees to the government exchequers.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, May 02, 2024, 02:56 AM IST
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Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh): Sand miners are destroying the Son Gharial Sanctuary near the borders of Sidhi and Shahdol districts, but the officials responsible for protecting it are snoring.

According to sources, the officials of the sanctuary and those of the mining department are hand in glove with the miners who are causing a loss of crores of rupees to the government exchequers. As the sanctuary is a restricted area, mining is not allowed, but the miners flout the rules, which jeopardise the aqua life – particularly crocodiles and alligators – preserved in this sanctuary.

According to sources, complaints about sand excavation are pouring in, yet the district officials remain passive. The officials of the forest department barely act against the miners. The area allocated for mining is just 1.9km away from the sanctuary. Allowing mining in an area so close to this sensitive zone is also against the rules, environmentalists said. Despite objections raised by environmentalists and locals, mining activities are going on. Sand mining is not allowed in the Son River which rolls through this sanctuary.

A survey conducted by the National Green Tribunal last year demanded the state government to take action and the impose ban on mining. It, however, failed to stop the miners. Advocates Nityanand Mishra and Ambuj Pandey have filed petitions in the Bhopal bench of National Green Tribunal, seeking a ban on mining.

The mining department claimed to have obtained permissions for mining in the area. But the mining is damaging bio-diversity of this place. When the issue was raised before district mining officer Devendra Patel, he said no complaints about illegal mining had been received. But he assured that he would act against the guilty if he received any such complaint, Patel said Member of Legislative assembly from Beohari Sharad Juglal Kol said that once complaints were received from rural people, action should be taken against the guilty.

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