4 illegal crushers sealed in Kathua, power supply of 5 others snapped

Tehsildar Kathua, Kapil Kant Khajuria sealing an illegal crusher in Kathua on Tuesday. - Excelsior/Pardeep
Tehsildar Kathua, Kapil Kant Khajuria sealing an illegal crusher in Kathua on Tuesday. - Excelsior/Pardeep

Distt admn warns tough action against illegal mining

Excelsior Correspondent
KATHUA, June 11: Turning tough on illegal mining in the Ravi river in Kerrian -Gandyal area of Kathua district and following the public pressure, the district administration today swooped on nine illegally crushers running in Ravi basin and sealed four of them while disconnecting power supply of others.
The official sources said that the crushers were operating illegally in the area and violating the guidelines issued by Government vide SRO 302 of 19-7-2017 which warrants action against all the minor mineral based units stone crushers and hot and wet mixed plants operating without seeking the license from Geological and Mining Department.
DC Kathua, Vikas Kundal had issued an order on April 4 asking District Mineral Officer of Geology and Mining Department, Kathua to close all such units which are running illegally in the area.
The team of officers who sealed the crushers today in the area was led by Tehsildar Kathua, Kapil Kant Khajuria who was assisted by, Geological and Mining Department, Revenue and police officials. He on spot sealed four stone crushers in the area and snapped power connections of five others.
The illegal stone crushers against whom the action was taken today included M/S Kahlou Stone crusher, Chak Deviya, M/S Jay Maa Stone Crusher Chak Deviya, M/S Shri Krishna Stone crusher, Gandyal, Shri Ganpari Stone Crusher Gandyal, M/S S K Stone Crusher Gandyal, M/S New On Stone Crusher Gandyal, M/S Radhey Krishna Stone Crusher, Gandyal and M/S C&C Stone Crusher Gandyal.
Sources said that the crusher operators were indulging in illegal mining in the Ravi basin which was going to endanger the newly constructed 125 meter span Kerriyan Gandyal bridge. The local residents of the area have also expressed their grave concern over the failure of administration to take action against illegal mining in the area as this had also affected the flora and fauna, besides the water level in the area had also depleted and people in entire Kerriyan -Gandyal belt were facing the water scarcity as the hand pumps dug by them had gone dry due to the deep digging in the river due to illegal mining by operators of stone crushers.
The people of the area also held many protest demonstrations against the operation of illegal crushers in the area and failure of administration to seal them completely. They alleged that a nexus goes on between Geology and Mining Department officials and the illegal stone crusher operators in the area and demanded that all illegal crushers functioning in the area be sealed once for all.
Sources said 46 crushers are functioning in district Kathua among them most are illegally functioning under the very nose of Geological and Mining Department.
Sources said in river Ujh near the under construction ,75 km long Pandri bridge illegal stone crushers are functioning whose operators extract the material form Ujh bed near the bridge posing a threat to it.
Sources said a crusher exists in the half km area of the bridge and no action has been taken about it so far by the authorities. Sources said the district administration has not taken any notice of the same so far. During last year the DC Kathua had sealed all the illegal stone crushers in the area which have now started operations as they face no action from authorities, sources added.
When contacted tehsildar, Kathua, Kapil Kant Khajuria said that on the orders issued by DC Kathua, Vikas Kundal a team of officials of Revenue Department, Geology and Mining and district Police swooped on illegal stone crushers in the area and sealed four of them while disconnecting power supply to rest five. He warned strict action under law against the illegal crushers and mining in the area.
Khajuria said that administration had already given notice to the owners of the illegal stone crushers to stop their operations in the area but they failed to do so prompting the administration to take action today.