MYAGDI, June 10: The District Police Office, Myagdi has seized three tractors and an excavator involved in excavating riverine substances.
A tractor (Dha 1 Ta 582, Ga 1 Ta 5448 and Dha 1 Ta 5328) and an excavator (Ba 1 Ka 6403) used for illegal exploitation of natural resources in Chutrenisthati river of Beni Municipality-6 have been seized, police said.
Police have stepped up efforts to control the exploitation in Myagdi and Kaligandaki, and seized vehicles on the basis of a special tip-off regarding the activity in rivers using various equipment, said Inspector and Information Officer Birendra Raj Gurung.
Police have mobilized a team to monitor those involved in exploitation during the prohibitory period. Deputy Superintendent of Police Shyam Kumar Rai said that regular control and monitoring of the use of heavy equipment in Myagdi and Kaligandi rivers has been given more priority.
Stating that those who act illegally by excavating riverine substances will be brought under the purview of action, the police has also requested the concerned bodies for help. Although the local level governments in Myagdi allow the excavation of the river using machines, it is not allowed to use the machine for the excavation of riverine materials.
Although the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by the local level of Myagdi mentions the use of hand and hand tools for excavation of riverine materials, the exploitation of the river in a way that endangers the coastal settlements has not stopped due to the political nexus and influence the contractors enjoy. In Beni Municipality, Mangala, Malika, Dhaulagiri, Raghuganga and Annapurna rural municipalities, the river has been exploited using political influence.
Earlier, the police had interfered in the excavation of Kaligandaki and Myagdi rivers with the permission of the local level. The security committee has been monitoring and taking action against those who have received permission from the local level but are working against the prevailing laws even when the excavation is done through the tender process. Similarly, the contractors in charge of the national pride project Beni-Jomsom-Korala road, Rahughat hydropower project and Beni Darbang road section are exploiting the river using various means.
Although there is little progress in big projects, the concerned bodies have been neglecting the fact that they are excavating large quantities of stones, pebbles and sand.