Kerala

Greens express concern over sand mining in rivers in Wayanad

Environmental activists in the district have urged the district administration to withdraw its direction to civic bodies for mining sand from rivers in order to remove debris and silt to avoid flooding during monsoon.

Speaking to The Hindu, N. Badusha, president of Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samithi, said civic bodies in the district had started sand mining from rivers and rivulets following the directive.

But the major reason behind the flood-like situation the district witnessed in the past two years was the large-scale felling of trees on hill slopes for granite mining and construction of resorts, which resulted in landslips and flash floods, Mr. Badusha said.

Unscientific filling of paddy fields for construction and opening of shutters of reservoirs like Banasura Sagar also resulted in it, he said.

Some grama panchayats had started to remove silt and debris by bulldozing banks of rivers, Thomas Ambalavayal, secretary of the organisation, said.

A sand audit had been conducted by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) in 2014 in Kabani river and its tributaries, and had recommended a total ban on sand mining.

Moreover, sand mining without a sand audit was against the existing norms and it would result in further depletion of groundwater level and lead to acute water shortage during summer, Mr. Ambalavayal said.

The organisation was not against removing silt or debris but details of the identified areas for the purpose should be published and it should be done under the supervision of biodiversity committees in each civic bodies, he added.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:36:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/greens-express-concern-over-sand-mining-in-rivers-in-wayanad/article31822972.ece

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