Despite the ban, illegal mining is flourishing in Jammu. Hundreds of vehicles carry sand and gravel secretly every day from Tawi, and other drains in the city and its adjoining areas, which is also deteriorating their geological condition due to illegal digging in the river drains.
Due to illegal mining, the shape of the rivers and streams is also changing, and during the rainy days, as the water level rises, the water of the river drains also carries away people’s lands. Apart from this, the nature of river channels is also changing. From where the sand and gravel are being extracted, the depth increases, and the water level is also getting affected.
In view of the damage to the environment caused by mining in the river drains, the court had banned mining in Jammu and Kashmir, but the mining mafia became active. Rikki, a contractor involved in construction work in Jammu, said that the ban on mining had affected the construction work. Still, the days of people associated with illegal mining have changed. Earlier, a trolley of sand used to get one thousand, but now the mining mafia sells it for three thousand. In some places in Samba and Kathua districts adjoining Jammu, the government has permitted mining. Still, the mining mafia operating in Jammu is extracting sand and gravel by mining in the surrounding areas instead of sand gravel from there. The mining mafia is stealing sand, gravel and selling it by filling it in tractor trolleys and tipper-dumpers.
The mining mafia is filling sand and gravel from its banks for illegal mining, not going in the middle of the Tawi, due to which the tawi has become wide at those places. The effect of this is that now whenever the water of Tawi increases in the rainy season, it breaks the edges and enters the adjoining land and village, due to which hundreds of Kanal land of people are being offered to Tawi. Although the administration has made efforts to stop the flow of water by tying crates at many places because of the damage caused to the people, even these efforts are insufficient.
For illegal mining in river drains, the police have started a beat system. Under this, special police personnel are deployed at different points. These blocks are set up only to catch the vehicles engaged in illegal mining. In the last one month also, the Jammu Police has seized about sixty tractors, tippers. These vehicles can be released from the court only after paying a heavy fine. So the police are doing a good job. The police are strict about illegal mining.