The local sand mafia has been plundering Shandran Nallah, a tributary of the Jhelum River that flows through Anantnag and Kulgam districts in southern Kashmir.
Srinagar: In Kashmir’s southern region, illicit sand mining from water bodies has been continuing unabated. Shandran Nallah, a branch of the Jhelum River that flows through Anantnag and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir, has been plundered by the local sand mafia for months together.
According to locals, the authorities restricted all access and departure ports to the river a few years ago. These looters, on the other hand, have managed to keep the route leading to the Nallah accessible, which offers them a secure entry.
Damage to flora and fauna under district authorities’ nose continues
Local agricultural land is quickly degrading as a result of extensive sand and stone extraction, endangering the flora and fauna.
The mafia has been extracting sand with big machines, and illicit mining continues under the nose of the district authorities.
Risk of floods in surrounding areas looms large
Experts have warned that the unauthorized activity might cause harm to river embankments. As a result, numerous low-lying regions may become vulnerable to flooding.
Mohammad Aslam, one of the locals, said that hundreds of load carriers take sand illegally mined from the Nallah to the marketplaces every day. “The authorities appear unconcerned about putting a halt to this activity, which occurs at night mostly,” he complained.
“This illicit business has turned into a mafia,” he stated in a dejected tone. It is pertinent to mention here that when a local protested to those who unlawfully carried out extraction few days back, a violent brawl erupted in the area. The citizen was attacked and suffered injuries.
Concerned locals have now urged for the police to intervene quickly, as well as for the authorities to halt the unlawful sand mining immediately.