Illegal mining in Himachal Pradesh threatening Himalayan ecology

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Kullu, Aug 12 (ANI): Private miners in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh are exploiting the area's rich mines in the absence of any regulation by the state government, and this is threatening Himalayan ecology and environment.

The uncontrolled and illegal mining of sand, concrete and stones is causing great concern to both scientists and environmentalists.

According to one scientist, Himalayan topography is made of loose soil, and if uncontrolled mining is done, it will definitely increase erosion activity along riverbanks, thus destroying the whole eco system.

"It destroys the whole eco system. It also impacts atmospheric changes, which may lead to cloudbursts. Such cloudbursts will damage property and natural resources heavily," claimed J.C Kuniyal, a scientist, with the J.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Kullu.

Kishan Kapoor, the Industry Minister of Himachal Pradesh, said the state government is trying to control the situation and assured of all possible action.

"The state government will strictly ban illegal mining and stringent action will be taken against people involved in illegal mining," Kapoor said.

Mandi and Kullu district are the main thrust areas for the illegal miners business activities. In the beginning, mining was done by poor local families to feed their families, but later, keeping in view the great potential in this business, many private miners entered this area and this has totally changed the riverbank landscape.

Though there are several mining sites marked by the government, but unplanned and unscientific mining is worrying scientists, ecologists and environmentalists.

The illegal mining of quarry rocks and boulders by private companies, could cause devastating floods and avalanches in the Kullu Valley. By Prem Thakur (ANI)

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