Kashmir now hotspot of illegal riverbed mining -Athar Parvaiz
Going against its own orders, the government in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the fast-tracking of environmental clearances despite manifest evidence of illegal sand mining
A few months after the Jammu and Kashmir government auctioned hundreds of stretches of riverbeds for mineral extraction, companies that won the bids are mining the riverbeds despite the lack of environmental clearance. This makes the mining illegal. But instead of stopping that, on July 30 the government ordered “fast-tracking of environmental clearance”.
What is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is part of widespread illegal riverbed mining all over South Asia, which flourishes despite reports by officials, independent experts and the media. Three journalists reporting illegal riverbed mining have been killed over the past five years in India; many others have been injured and threatened.
The mining is mostly for sand and rocks used to build houses, roads and so on.
In June, the government’s own Jammu and Kashmir Expert Appraisal Committee (JKEAC) pointed out that illegal riverbed mining was going on. Taking note of it, the Jammu and Kashmir Environment Impact Assessment Authority (JKEIAA) – again the government’s own – sought immediate steps to stop illegal mining.
Instead, within a week, the government ordered that environmental clearances be sped up.
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TheThirdPole.net, 3 August, 2020, https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/08/03/kashmir-now-hotspot-of-illegal-riverbed-mining/?fbclid=IwAR2T9L11vAZe0OFXyylE-q6m92sQGaFL2oJgrlFYBGInhJ9Ik97YZQ_cSd4