West Midnapore police arrest 23 people for illegal sand mining in Sadar block

West Midnapore police arrest 23 people for illegal sand mining in Sadar block

Hummingbird News Desk

MIDNAPORE, 4 JULY: In a massive drive against illegal sand mining, West Midnapore police have arrested 23 persons, seized two sucking and one JCB machines, 34 vehicles and 10 sand-loaded vehicles.

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The police conducted the raid yesterday against illegal mining, stacking sand without permission and overloading vehicles in Midnapore Sadar block under Gurguripal police station limits.

Dinesh Kumar, SP, West Midnapore said the police have initiated cases against 26 hoarders for illegally stacking sand at various places in the district without permission from proper authorities. “In order to stop this menace five permanent nakas for 24 hours have also been placed at strategic places,” Mr Kumar said.

Rampant lifting of sand illegally from various rivers including Subarnarekha river bed in Dantan block of West Midnapore bordering Odisha was once emerged as a major cause of concern putting the officials on the toes.

The boom in the construction industry in the last decade triggered a huge demand of sand, to meet which contractors, with the help of pliant government officials, begun a dig-load-sell exercise at a frantic pace.

The story of illegal loot of sand from ‘Golden Line’ or Subarnarekha river had exposed another angle which reflects the production of black money to the tune of crores of rupees every year in the market from a single block in the district only.

The concerned administrative officials, police officials, ruling party leaders and panchayat functionaries were involved in illegal sand mining to make some quick money.

Due to regular sand lifting at the place, it was causing danger even to the rivers as thousands of tonnes of sand were lifted every day. Moreover, depletion of water tables has rendered bore-wells useless in the area.

Taking note of rampant illegal mining of sand from Subarnarekha, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed Odisha and West Bengal to come with joint restoration plan for damages inflicted on the river.

Similarly, rampant mining from Kanshabati river bed was also cause of concern before the district authorities. After taking steps from different levels, illegal mining has been stopped for the last one year, barring a few stray incidents.

Recently, police got information that some people have started mining again especially in the Sadar block area and accordingly the police took steps to stop the illegal practices, a police official said.

Tags: #SandMining #PaschimMedinipurPolice #WestMidnapore #IllegalSandMining 

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