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Sand Mining becoming threat to the resident of Rorathang: Residents fear over losing the land once more

Dhurba Regmi, resident of Rorathang East Sikkim accused Department of wildlife and forest over sand mining at Rorathang river stretch, In which he said “We fear over losing our land again like 1968, 99 percent of the river is being diverted to the village nearby due to the excavation if not intercepted in time the diverted river will cause havoc to the village”
Dhurba Regmi narrating the current land situation of the old Rorathang village stated,“Due to sand mining the river has taken elevation and when we look into the village it is lower than the river. Almost 25 houses are directly affected by sand mining and also the roads, drainage and floods are the outcomes of the illegal land mining”

“ Floods of 1968 had taken our land and my family is also one of the victims of it and if the excavation continues then we fear that foods of 1968 might repeat in future” he added

As per Regmi the illegal sand mining of the river stretch had started since 1990s and in year 2018 the residents of the village realized that non locals are also the ones who are illegally sand mining“ The land mining in the river stretch had started since 1990s and in the year 2018 we realized the even the non locals are also involved. Due to the rampant issuing of licence for sand mining by the concerned state department, the sand miners had started mining sand recklessly using JCBs in result of that the carpeting of the road which was about to be ready was flooded, and also drainage system was damaged and even flooding in strong lands occurred rampantly”.

Regmi further revealed the names of two non-local contractors, “Alam Enterprise of Siliguri with West Bengal Trucks have been entering the rivers and excavating and the other one is LD Bhutia of Arunachal Pradesh who used to run crusher plant at Rorathang under the licence of one of the locals. However, we had opposed the crusher plant due to which the plant is non-functional currently”

Regmi further informed that despite approaching the state government no strict steps were taken, “we had also approached the concerned department, but no preventive steps were taken and also in the past our Area MLA had inspected the sand Mining sites in which he had ordered the concerned department to build reinforcement walls in the village however no such was constructed, and the sand mining didn’t even stop”

“ No Acts allow the contractors to put machines in the river and excavate sand however they do so and this is not only the condition of the Rorathang river stretch, but this kind of activity is happening all the parts of rivers in our Sikkim”

Regmi appealed the Chief minister Prem Singh Tamang to intervene, “CM sir the forest department is not working in favour of the people rather they are aligned towards the contactors of the illegal sand mining, so I request you to kindly intervene and take the matter as a serious concern”
In addition, he further stated that,“ If the state government fails to reach out and find applicable solution to the happening Illegal Sand Mining at Rorathang River stretch we will knock the doors of other organizations”

Dr Bina Basnet, President, HSP also appealed the state Government to form an Independent environment commission,“ I appeal the state government to form an Independent Environment commission consisting of Environmentalists, Intellectuals so that they can enquire on all this kind of events in Sikkim and advice the government for suitable solutions”

Kedarnath Tiwari SMC member Sokpay raised his concern over working of the Sikkim police in a tree falling issue which he had raised earlier this month in which he accused Land Use and Environment Chairperson for cutting trees illegally in the Sokpay JH School, “Regarding the tree falling we had lodged FIR at Yangyang Thana but no enquiry has been set up so far, and I have realized that Police of Sikkim is only after fining people on whether people are wearing masks or not”

“Is police for the citizens of the state, or follow politicians everywhere? “ Kedarnath on Sikkim Police

In addition, Kedarnath also stated that Chief minister has been lying about the Tree falling case of Sokpay, he said “Chief Minister lied that the case has been solved, and the accused has been fined however no white paper on that is available which clearly means CM has lied”

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