GUWAHATI, March 27 � Expressing concern over rampant sand mining in the Kulsi river in Kamrup district, public activist Prof Deven Dutta said that matters had worsened to the extent that the illegal sand miners were extracting sand across a stretch of the river very near to the pillars of the two parallel road and railway bridges at Kukurmara, posing a grave danger to the bridges.
Prof Dutta in a statement questioned how such illegal sand mining could continue right under the very nose of the administration and the forest authorities despite the fact that the NF Railway authorities had some time back issued a notice banning sand mining across a stretch of 300 metres on either side of the railway bridge.
�The notice was also sent to the Kamrup West Forest Division and sand mining had stopped near the bridge for a few days after the notice. But the illegal activities started again right under the nose of the forest authorities and the situation now poses a serious danger to both the bridges,� he said.
Prof Dutta who himself made an on-the-spot assessment said that 25-30 trucks were engaged daily in carrying the extracted sand and sandy soil from the spot near the bridge. The sand mafia even cut two iron barriers put by the forest office for preventing entry of trucks to the spot, he added.
�It is absolutely shocking that such blatant illegalities are being perpetrated with tacit support of the government authorities, especially the forest authorities. It is only a matter of time before the two bridges collapse in the face of mounting sand extraction in close proximity to the two vital bridges,� he said.
Prof Dutta said that the issue of illegal sand mining on the Kulsi had been widely reported in the media but the Government remained unperturbed.
�The new Forest Minister and the Chief Minister owe an explanation to the people about these large-scale illegalities,� he added.