BHAIRAWA, Jan 16: District administration has been unable to check sand extraction from Rohini River in Rupendahi district, even as sand smugglers have been extracting sand from the river at Mainahawa of Rohini Rural Municipality - 2, and transporting the loaded tractors to Nepali and Indian markets.
Locals have claimed that these traders used to illegally sell sand in complicity with police in the past. After the formation of local level units along with the implementation of federal structure, such practice had stopped for a while. But in the past few months, sand smuggling has started again, according to the locals.
Officials at Rohini Rural Municipality said that they were working toward opening tender bid for regulated extraction and sale of sand. As the tender process is still underway, some miscreants might have used it as an opportunity for smuggling, they said.
Chairman of the rural municipality, Sanoj Kumar Yadav, said: "We have requested the concerned district authorities to expedite our proposal for regulating sand extraction. They are going through it and discussing environmental concerns. We hope it will get approved soon."
The rural municipality has submitted proposals to legitimize sand extraction in Bhairahawa, Mainahawa, and Kharibinda areas.
Meanwhile, locals have claimed that the sand extracted at Mainahawa is smuggled to India. "These illegal tractor operators smuggle the sand extracted from Mainahawa to India via Semarpani and Bagaha at night," said a resident of the rural municipality requesting anonymity.
When asked about it, chairman Yadav said: "We have already informed the police and are seeking action from them."
He further said that the police are trying their best to take action against the smugglers and are very close to arresting the people involved in the illegal activities.