KNT Impact: Authorities crack down on illegal sand mining in Pampore


Local officials in Pampore took action against illegal sand mining following an exclusive report by Kashmir News Trust (KNT) highlighting the rampant defacement of a picturesque ‘island’ in southern Kashmir’s saffron town.

In a detailed exposé published on February 28, KNT revealed the unchecked activities of vested interest groups exploiting the lack of regulation and accountability to extract sand and erode soil along the banks of the Jehlum River.

Locals, speaking to KNT, described a situation where a mafia-like operation controlled the sand extraction trade, with some individuals owning fleets of boats for this purpose.

Despite repeated pleas to authorities, the Geology and Mining Department failed to curb the illicit activities, leaving the once-promising island in ruins.

Residents lamented the lost opportunity for development, citing a previous initiative by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank to establish a public park on the island, now marred by illegal mining operations.

Prompted by KNT’s news report, local authorities sprang into action. On February 29, a joint operation led by District Mineral Office Pulwama, Er Mohammad Manzoor, along with Tehsildar Pampore and Flood Control Department Kakapora, assisted by the police from Police Station Pampore, conducted a comprehensive crackdown on illegal sand mining at Litterbal Pampore.

The operation resulted in the seizure of numerous mining equipment, and access roads to the mining sites were blocked.

Officials assured strict consequences for those involved in the illicit trade, signaling a determined effort to enforce the ban on sand mining and restore environmental integrity to the region.

As the authorities vow to uphold the rule of law, residents remain hopeful for the restoration of the once-pristine island and the preservation of their natural heritage. (KNT)

Aasif Ganaie

Aasif Ganaie is a journalist and a news enthusiast based in Jammu & Kashmir. He voyages to explore and uncover the stories that need to be told. The journo also writes about happenings, events and everything that matters.

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