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Illegal sand mining on Brahmaputra river bed is posing serious threat to eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh town protection dyke.

The illegal mining of sand at Maijan area of Dibrugarh has been posing a threat to the DTP dyke.

However, every day trucks loads of sands are extracted from the Maijan area and the sand mafias send the loaded truck to another destination for business.

Sources said sand mafias of Dibrugarh district have been illegally collecting sand from the river bed for years, posing a serious threat to the people of the area.

“Everyday trucks loads of sand passed through this Maijan road under the nose of the district administration and they remain mute spectators. Not only Maijan, in many places the illegal sand mining has been going on unbated,” said a source.

It has been alleged that some unscrupulous sand mafias of Dibrugarh and other parts of the district have been running illegal business of sand having nexus with some forest officials.

Sources informed that at Maijan, Mohanaghat and Jokai area the illegal extraction of sand from the Brahmaputra river bed has been rampant under the nose of the district administration.

According to sources, everyday 10 to 15 truck loaded sand pass through the Maijan road but the concerned department have so far failed to nab the persons involved in illegal mining of sand.

Meanwhile, environmentalists and senior citizens of Dibrugarh have raised serious concern about the ongoing illegal sand mining in the river bed of Brahamaputra.

“The illegal sand mining has been posing a serious threat to the ecology and the DTP dyke and due to that it’s has weakened the DTP dyke and if the concerned department didn’t take action against the sand mafias then one day Dibrugarh goes under water,” said Ram Mohan Lal, a senior citizen of Dibrugarh.

“Though the illegal act is going on openly with the knowledge of the law enforcing agencies like police and revenue circle officers, we smell a deep-rooted nexus between the officials concerned and the sand mafias,” alleged a source.

However, following a series of orders by the National Green Tribunal in 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has for the first time released guidelines to monitor and check illegal sand mining in the country.

The Enforcement and Mointoring Guidelines for Sand Mining 2020 released by the Ministry on last month include direction to states to carry our river audits, put detailed survey reports of all mini g areas online and in the public domain, conduct replenishment studies of river beds, constantly monitoring mining with drones, aerial surveys, ground surveys and set up dedicated task forces at district level.

Talking to this correspondent, Nareswar Das, forest ranger of Dibrugarh said, “Our team has been monitoring to stop the illegal sand mining. We will take step to stop the illegal mining at Maijan and other areas of Dibrugarh district.”

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: