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MoEF acts tough on forest violation in Sonbhadra

MoEF acts tough on forest violation in Sonbhadra
Taking a hard stand on the construction of a makeshift bridge over the Son River in UP near Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary and massive mining of sand from its riverbed, the ministry of environment and forests, has directed the district administration of Sonbhadra to demolish the bridge and end the ongoing mining activities in the area.

The ministry acted on the issue following complaints of the locals over the creation of a two-kilometre long road inside the riverbed area of Son River comprising forestland. A temporary bridge was also created across the river to facilitate a hydro-electric power plant in close vicinity, according to locals.

The bridge, further, was being used as an access road to the hydro-plant, which served as transportation and logistics route for heavy vehicles. The villagers of Kota in the area had also alleged that the makeshift bridge was created by the hydro power company in connivance with the administration. Several complaints to the district authorities fell on deaf ears, they said.

Avesh Tiwari, a local village representative, who complained to the Ministry said, ‘The bridge has wreaked heavy destruction on the surroundings of the area. The entire area, with a dense forest and a sanctuary nearby is ecologically sensitive, but the administration has been regardless of these facts.’

‘The bridge was created using huge polythene bags, which were not removed even after the approach was readied. This has further polluted the Son River. Besides, there has been unabated mining of sand and coarse sand on a large scale,’ Tiwari said.

According to Ministry officials, about 299.265 hectares of land in the Kota village of Robertsganj sub-division was notified as Reserved Forest, a great part of which was being subjected to non-forest activities by private entities carrying out their projects.

Confirming about the action taken, Y.K.S. Chauhan, chief conservator of forests, ministry of environment & forests, central zone, said, ‘A dense jungle was being destroyed by the project proponents that was a grave violation of the Forest Conservation Act 1980. We have asked the district authorities and the Kaimur wildlife officials to demolish the illegal road and apprise about the action taken at the earliest.’
Akash Vashishtha

Akash Vashishtha

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