Reckless hill cutting a threat to power lines

Rajiv Mahajan

NURPUR, AUGUST 20

Reckless cutting of hills at Thapkor, Bhadroya, Gagwal and Lodhwan villages of Indora sub division is posing threat not only to the flora and fauna but also power transmission lines and water supply pipelines in the area. Resentment is brewing among the locals over unabated quarrying of hills with impunity.

Government departments like forest and mining have failed to check illegal hill cutting and digging of deep trenches on hills. Local residents apprehend soil erosion and landslide due to reckless excavation of hills with JCB machines. The farmers, who used to leave their animals on the hillside for grazing, say they will lose green pastures if unscientific excavation is not stopped.

Inquiries reveal that the owners of private land are using JCB machines to extract soil from these hills and even from the forest area. They sell the soil to private builders in the neighbouring Punjab. Loaded trucks can be seen transporting soil extracted from the hills on the roads connecting Pathankot-Jalandhar road. Locals alleged that offenders sold extracted soil in Punjab for Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per tractor-trolley.

Ashok Kapoor, up-pradhan, Gagwal gram panchayat, said he had raised the issues of illegal mining and reckless cutting of hills in the panchayat in the past. The offenders were playing havoc with the hills and hundreds of tractor-trolleys transported the soil extracted from forest and private areas even during the lockdown by crossing police naka at Bhadroya.

He said he had received threats from the mining mafia for objecting to illegal mining and reckless cutting of hills for which he had recently lodged a police complaint.

Rajiv Kalia, Kangra District Mining Officer, who has additional charge of Nurpur, said he had directed the field staff to take action against the offenders. He added that the Divisional Forest Officer, Nurpur has also been informed in this connection.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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