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Editorial
Environmental degradation
Govt non-serious on gravel, quartz extraction causing damage to marine habitat
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The state government does not appear to be serious in conservation of fish and other marine life habitat in running streams of Kashmir valley either by way of implementing ban on extraction of gravel or quartz from the river beds for the purposes of collecting building material. The building material is high on demand in the entire Kashmir valley due to shortage of rock extraction work in various part of the valley as a result of which sand and boulders are also extracted from the river and stream beds. In order to check degradation of fish habitat in the streams, district and divisional authorities put a blanket ban on the gravel and quartz extraction from the streams. But unfortunately, these orders are not implemented by the authorities when it comes check the extraction work of big and influential contractors through mechanized means in far off places where manual extraction is not possible. The manual extractors have been complaining of discrimination meted out to them by the authorities which had banned their work in the running streams in different parts of the valley. But the mechanized extraction which is more harmful to the fish habitat has been going on in the upstream belts without any check. Same is the case with contractors, who have been carrying out the extraction work in the streams and river bed on large scale with mechanized equipments. On the other hand, it has been observed that geology and mining department has been leasing out stream and river bed for collection of sand and boulders on annual basis after charging royalty from the contractors without giving any thought to the damage caused to the marine habitat in the state. In fact, the process has been followed by the department as part of their revenue earning system by allowing mining and extraction works to people in the past.


News Updated at : Friday, February 1, 2013
 
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