UDAYAPUR, June 13: Police have impounded around half a dozen excavators and tractor-tillers which were used in illegal extraction of construction materials from various rivers of Udayapur district.
Two days ago, Udayapur Police took these vehicles under control from Triyuga and Baruwa rivers in the district headquarters. Following complaint of the locals regarding rampant excavation in Baruwa River which flows through Gaighat Bazaar, police caught two JCB brand excavators with registration numbers Ja 1 Ta 535 and Ba 2 Ka 8481 and three tractor-tillers from the river.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Bir Bahadur Budhamagar of the District Police Office (DPO), Udayapur informed Republica that the vehicles have been handed over to the District Coordination Committee (DCC).
He further informed that the locals on Sunday reached the DPO complaining that the rampant excavation in the rivers may cause the motorable bridge connecting Gaighat-Asari along the Madan Bhandari Highway to cave in.
"After hearing the complaint from the locals, we deployed a team and took the JCB excavators and tractors under control while they were excavating from the river illegally," said SP Budhamagar.
After charging certain fine, the DCC has already released some of the vehicles while some are still at the office. As the chief of the DCC is currently not performing any job due to a controversy, a meeting of Vice Chairperson of the DCC, Chief District Officer (CDO) and police chief took a decision to release the vehicle by charging the fine.
Ganga Rai, vice- chairperson of the DCC, informed Republica that the JCBs were charged Rs 15,000 each for release while the tractors were fined Rs 5,000 each for their first offence. According to him, the fine will be doubled if they are found extracting resources from the rivers illegally again.
According to the locals, unabated excavation in Triyuga, Baruwa, Luhale, Balan, Kakaru, Baidhyanath, Kamala, Dwar, Lama, Kali, Seti among other rivers has increased the risk of flood and inundation. They say that the extracted materials are sold to neighboring Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha, Sunsari and also to the Indian markets.
Meanwhile, Chief Administrative Officer Som Bhattarai of Triyuga Municipality said that the local unit has assigned some companies on contract basis to extract resources from the rivers abiding by the legal standard.