BARA, Feb 23: Even as indiscriminate quarrying of sand and stones from the rivers in the Chure hills of Bara continues unabated, local authorities have taken no initiatives to check such illegal activities.
Over a dozen crusher plants running in Amlekhganj and Nijgadh have been illegally extracting stones and sand from the rivers.
According to District Forest Officer Man Bahadur Khadka, illegal quarrying of stones and sand is rampant. Khadka also informed that they have not been able to take action against crusher operators due to overlapping jurisdiction of the local development ministry and the ministry of forest and soil conservation.
The ban on export of sand and stones was lifted after a taskforce formed at the local level submitted its report. The crusher operators have claimed that they have been extracting and exporting aggregates legally as the District Development Committee (DDC) has permitted them to do so.
Aggregate supplier Manoj Sah said that they have been buying stones and sand from other people and do not have any knowledge of where the aggregates come from.
Local Development Officer, Bara, Chiranjibi Bhandari said they crusher plants have not been allowed to extract sand and stones from the river basins, but are only allowed to deal in aggregates in stock. Bhandari also informed that crusher operators found extracting stones and sand from rivers would be punished.
According to Clean Society Nepal, a Simara based NGO working in the area of conservation, indiscriminate extraction of stones and sand from the rivers has posed a grave risk to conservation efforts being carried out in the Chure area.
The NGO also informed that their efforts to remove the crusher plants turned futile as operators have the backing of political parties and the local administration.