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Stone mining in Karbi Anglong silting paddy fields of Bokakhat

By Ajit Patowary
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GUWAHATI, Jan 27 - Large-scale stone mining activities and indiscriminate earth cutting in the Karbi Anglong hills have blocked the natural channels and silted up paddy fields in several villages under Bokakhat Revenue Circle of the State, on the Golaghat-Karbi Anglong districts� boundary. According to a preliminary survey, 448.44 hectares of paddy field area has been affected by such activities.

The Circle Officer of the Bokakhat Revenue Circle, in a letter to the Bokakhat Subdivisional Officer (Civil), alleged that such activities have blocked all natural outlets and made them shallow. Vast stretches of paddy land of these villages have been silted up by the storm water runoff from the hills, which carry earth and stone debris from the mining sites. These paddy fields have become unfit for agriculture. Other natural water bodies in those areas are also affected by such activities, said the Circle Officer.

The villages include Kakojuri, Gelaki Mikir, Gohanibor and Silkuwari. While Kakojuri has got 80.32 hectares of its paddy fields affected, Gelaki Mikir has got 120.48 hectares of its paddy fields affected, Gohainbor has got 160.64 hectares of its paddy field land affected and Silkuwari has got 87 hectares of its paddy field land affected due to such activities.

�If the mining activities continue on the hills of Karbi Anglong at this rate, more paddy land of my Circle may be affected. There is already strong resentment among the farmers of the above areas over this issue, few untoward incidents have already taken place between the villagers of two districts and there is likelihood of flare up in future as well.

�I therefore, request your honour to take the matter with appropriate authority for addressing the same,� said the Circle Officer.

The letter was obtained by RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury through an RTI application.

Choudhury also obtained the complaint lodged by the Kaliabor District Committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the villagers of the above villages lodged with the DFO, Bokakhat on the issue. BJP Kaliabor District Committee secretary Robin Deka alleged that against the transit pass (TP) of five cubic metres, trucks used by the contractors are carrying 15 to 20 cubic metres of stone and thus they are robbing the State Government of the due revenue and damaging roads.

The villagers in their complaint alleged that though due to the intervention of the local administration of Bokakhat Sub-Division, stone mining activities in the Karbi Anglong hills were kept in abeyance since July, 2015, but in the end part of 2016, quarrying activities in the Karbi Anglong hills resumed with the use of modern equipment and this development has affected sali paddy crops in the above villages. More paddy fields are being affected by such activities.

As a result, skirmishes occurred between the villagers and the people engaged in stone quarrying on several occasions. Apprehensions are there that more such incidents would take place in the days to come, said the villagers in their complaint.

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Stone mining in Karbi Anglong silting paddy fields of Bokakhat

GUWAHATI, Jan 27 - Large-scale stone mining activities and indiscriminate earth cutting in the Karbi Anglong hills have blocked the natural channels and silted up paddy fields in several villages under Bokakhat Revenue Circle of the State, on the Golaghat-Karbi Anglong districts� boundary. According to a preliminary survey, 448.44 hectares of paddy field area has been affected by such activities.

The Circle Officer of the Bokakhat Revenue Circle, in a letter to the Bokakhat Subdivisional Officer (Civil), alleged that such activities have blocked all natural outlets and made them shallow. Vast stretches of paddy land of these villages have been silted up by the storm water runoff from the hills, which carry earth and stone debris from the mining sites. These paddy fields have become unfit for agriculture. Other natural water bodies in those areas are also affected by such activities, said the Circle Officer.

The villages include Kakojuri, Gelaki Mikir, Gohanibor and Silkuwari. While Kakojuri has got 80.32 hectares of its paddy fields affected, Gelaki Mikir has got 120.48 hectares of its paddy fields affected, Gohainbor has got 160.64 hectares of its paddy field land affected and Silkuwari has got 87 hectares of its paddy field land affected due to such activities.

�If the mining activities continue on the hills of Karbi Anglong at this rate, more paddy land of my Circle may be affected. There is already strong resentment among the farmers of the above areas over this issue, few untoward incidents have already taken place between the villagers of two districts and there is likelihood of flare up in future as well.

�I therefore, request your honour to take the matter with appropriate authority for addressing the same,� said the Circle Officer.

The letter was obtained by RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury through an RTI application.

Choudhury also obtained the complaint lodged by the Kaliabor District Committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the villagers of the above villages lodged with the DFO, Bokakhat on the issue. BJP Kaliabor District Committee secretary Robin Deka alleged that against the transit pass (TP) of five cubic metres, trucks used by the contractors are carrying 15 to 20 cubic metres of stone and thus they are robbing the State Government of the due revenue and damaging roads.

The villagers in their complaint alleged that though due to the intervention of the local administration of Bokakhat Sub-Division, stone mining activities in the Karbi Anglong hills were kept in abeyance since July, 2015, but in the end part of 2016, quarrying activities in the Karbi Anglong hills resumed with the use of modern equipment and this development has affected sali paddy crops in the above villages. More paddy fields are being affected by such activities.

As a result, skirmishes occurred between the villagers and the people engaged in stone quarrying on several occasions. Apprehensions are there that more such incidents would take place in the days to come, said the villagers in their complaint.