GUWAHATI, July 23 - The Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) of Bokakhat has requested the Chief Secretary�s office to initiate urgent steps to ban unscientific activities like stone quarrying in the border areas of Karbi Anglong district so that damages to the nearby paddy fields as well as the World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) could be prevented.
The Bokakhat SDO-C in his July 16, 2018 letter (No. BCA 3/2015/302) to the Staff Officer to the Chief Secretary of the State, said that stone mining and crusher activities in Karbi Anglong Hills have been causing an adverse impact on the neighbouring areas, including KNP.
These activities are destroying the agricultural fields and forests of the border areas of Karbi Anglong, namely Kakojuri, Siljuri, Gosainbor and Geleki Mikir etc areas of Bokakhat Sub-Division. Various waterbodies and streams flow down from the Karbi Anglong Hills. These streams join the larger streams like the Difloo river, which flows into the KNP area.
RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury obtained a copy of the letter through a RTI petition.
The letter further stated that three streams flowing down from Siljuri Pathar of Karbi Anglong to Siljuri tilling fields carry a sizeable quantity of pebbles and sand, causing damage to the croplands. About seven hectares of cropland have already been completely damaged by the above activities and affected around 1,000 hectares of land by depositing sediments. If such type of sedimentation is allowed to continue, the entire area will become unfit for cultivation, said the SDO.
Stone quarrying is also affecting the wildlife habitats in and around KNP and soil quality in the neighbouring area. Water of the streams in these areas has also become turbid and the Moradifloo river is gradually drying up due to heavy siltation caused by stone mining and crushing activities. This river demarcates the KNP boundary.
Wild denizens of KNP are facing a lot of trouble in matters of safe drinking water and if this destructive phenomenon is allowed to continue, it will spell doom for KNP and its neighbourhood, speculated the SDO.
The SDO enclosed the inquiry report of the Executive Magistrate of Bokakhat and the reports of different departments along with photographs of damages caused by the phenomenon.