Agartala: River banks in many places across Tripura are crumbling down due to unabated lifting of sand by machines from riverbeds and also increasing the fear of floods during the rainy season. The crores of rupees spent by the government to preserve the riverbanks are also being wasted.
Such reports are coming from different places situated along the rivers like Haoura, Gomoti, Deo, Dhalai, Khowai and all their tributaries. The National Highways are also facing serious erosion in many areas of northern Tripura due to unabated mining of sand from the riverbed illegally.
The BJP-IPFT coalition government immediately after coming into power imposed a ban on this illegal practice but with the passage of time, all appears to have evaporated. The ban is still there but nobody implements it.
The Forest department earlier invited application for issuing license for sand mining manually but till now no license has been issued providing fertile ground for the illegal sand miners.
It is learned that a racket is active everywhere to protect this illegal business with the backing of both the ruling and the Opposition political parties and some government officials are also in connivance with them. Issuing transit by the Forest department becomes another source of corruption. It is learned that the contractors deposit fee for one truck whereas two or three trucks are trasported while the Forest officials remain silent.
This illegal business, day and night, is disturbing civic life as high sounds of the machines causes pollution and the roads are getting damaged due to the sand carrying vehicles using rural roads that are not meant for such heavy vehicles.