Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia who is also the MLA from Nazira Assembly Constituency, has shot off a letter to state Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya appraising him about the illegal sand and stone mining taking place at Dikhow river at Bihubor in Nazira sub-division of Sivasagar district.
Saikia said that he had earlier complained about this matter to the former forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma but no action had been taken and hoped that Suklabaidya would take this matter more seriously given the fact that in 2012 the Supreme Court had pointed out that all dredging activities especially by JCBs were illegal if not approved under the 2016 Environment Impact Assessment Notification.
Saikia further said that apart from the illegality, the use of heavy vehicles were damaging the embankment and this would result in erosion during the days of floods.
“Not only this, the large scale extraction of sand would result in destruction of aquatic fauna and of the ecosystem and habitat. It would also change the morphology of the channel and result in coarsening of the river bed,” the letter said.
Another side effect would be the depletion of ground water near the river.
Saikia had been approached by residents of Bihubor Gaon Panchayat area Ward No. 1 and 2 and of Kamal Sapori, who through a letter had alleged that the BJP’s sand mafia were digging up the river bed which would pose a threat to their lives from the resultant erosion and flooding. It was also alleged that the sand mafia had also dug up private property of one M Zakir, by the side of the Kamal Sapori LP School