Illegal extraction of sands, pebbles from rivers in Morang goes unchecked

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PATHARI, MORANG — Extraction of construction materials like sands and pebbles from rivers based in Morang continues unabated despite a ban.

The illegal extraction goes unchecked in Chure region, resulting in the recent flooding in Tarai belt, experts said, taking many lives, displacing many others, and damaging property worth millions of rupees.

The government bans the extraction of sands and pebbles from rivers particularly during monsoon that begins from Nepali month of Asar to Ashoj.

But the extraction is also taking place in Morang district. The illegal activities are going on in Kerabari-based Khadam, Hachuwa and Mugu rivers at night, said the locals. The continuous police patrol in the area has not yielded any results.

Illegal use of a JCV for extracting the river products during the monsoon is finable (Rs 25,000 each time), while a tipper truck is fined Rs 20,000 and a tractor Rs 10,000. There is no data of cases wherein fines have been slapped, however.

When asked concerned authority, Chairperson of Kerabari rural municipality Rohit Karki expressed helplessness, saying the illegal extraction would be contained only when the local administration shows concern.

Chief of the District Forest Office Binod Devkota said efforts were on to contain the illegal activities and conserve local rivers. RSS