Boulder extraction in Handwara

A glaring instance of preferring petty commerce at the cost of agriculture can be seen in Handwara in North Kashmir where illegal extraction of gravel and boulders from Talre Nullah is going on, perhaps with connivance with the authorities. It appears that the blanket ban on this illegal practice by the Government has been thrown to winds. The cause of concern is that it has imperiled the safety of houses around the site as also the vast agricultural land.
Groups of labourers are seen being engaged by local contractors for extracting the material without any permission , at various places in the Talre stream right from Zachaldra to Handwara and loading the same in trucks and tippers and sold out in the market without putting in any stake and hence earning illegally.
The residents while lamenting for the violation of natural resources for petty commercial gains wonder simultaneously whether all that was happening was done as a result of a nexus between the Irrigation and Flood Control Department supported by the local administration. Political patronage enjoyed by the mafia is making them emboldened enough so as not to care too hoots for the damage caused by such extraction activities.
We urge the authorities concerned to arrange immediate halt to such activities and book the culprits to face legal action under rules. The costs of damages caused to surroundings too should be recovered from them to prove as a deterrent.