Three States begin joint action to stop illegal sand mining in the Chambal sanctuary

Situated at the trijunction of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the sanctuary is known for its population of critically endangered gharials

March 21, 2023 07:57 pm | Updated 07:57 pm IST - JAIPUR

Image used for representational purpose.

Image used for representational purpose. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Three States have commenced joint action to stop illegal sand mining in National Chambal Sanctuary, situated at the trijunction of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which is known for its population of critically endangered gharials. The Chambal river cuts through the mazes of ravines and hills in the sanctuary.

Coordination among the three States was discussed at a high-level meeting in Jaipur on Tuesday with emphasis on protecting the fragile lotic ecosystem critical for breeding of gharials, which are fish-eating crocodiles. Illegal sand mining is threatening the flora and fauna in some parts of the sanctuary.

Rajasthan Chief Secretary Usha Sharma said the Forest and Mineral Departments as well as the police and district administration in the three States would be required to operate in close coordination to put a complete stop to illegal mining. Chief Secretaries Iqbal Singh Bains of Madhya Pradesh and Durga Shankar Mishra of Uttar Pradesh attended the meeting via video conferencing.

Ms. Sharma said a prompt exchange of information among the officials would help prevent the mining activities, while manual checking of vulnerable places would stop the entry of the people with questionable credentials. The 5,400 sq. km. sanctuary is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the headquarters of its Project Officer are at Morena in Madhya Pradesh.

The sanctuary is listed as an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ and is also a proposed Ramsar site. About 320 species of resident and migratory birds inhabit the sanctuary, and migratory birds from Siberia form part of its rich avian fauna.

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