GUWAHATI, April 4 - Alleging that sand and stone mafia were operating unhindered in south Kamrup areas like Chhaygaon, Boko and Palasbari, Congress legislator Rekibuddin Ahmed today told the Assembly that action on the mafia and the illegal racket they had been perpetrating was conspicuous by its absence.
He also told the Assembly that illegal sand mining was posing a serious threat to the long-term survival of the highly-endangered river dolphin in the Kulsi river � one of its last bastions.
Ahmed said the mafia were getting so emboldened that they did not even hesitate to attack the police. �Only last night the officer in-charge of Chhaygaon police station was attacked by the mafia who were in a Scorpio vehicle. This is shocking to say the least,� he said.
Ahmed added that during a recent raid in the house of a kingpin of the sand racket, a 22-page seizure list was made but little follow-up action proceeded.
He said allotment of sand mines and stone quarries was corruption-riddled and a nefarious nexus was behind it. �Unscientific and overexploitation of sand from the Kulsi river has put a question mark over the survival of the river dolphin � the State aquatic animal - too,� he said.
Environment and Forests Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, in her reply, denied that there was any anomaly in the allotment process of sand mining or stone quarrying, saying that the process had been streamlined and that as a result the government was getting enhanced revenue from sand and stone.
�If there is involvement of any official or operators of mining and quarrying in any illegal activities, we will take stern action,� she said.