Illegal mining uncovered in Haridwar

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Swami Nigamananda
Haridwar, Jun 16: The death of the ascetic Swami Nigamananda's death has once again brought into light the illegal mining around River Ganga.

While Baba Ramdev's nine day fast to step up war against corruption, got national attention, on the other hand another Baba, Swami Nigamananda raised his voice against the stone quarries and pollution in River Ganga. But unfortunately he died at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences.

On April 27, Swamiji's health started deteriorating due to which he was admitted in the hospital. Under very critical condition, he went into coma and never recovered.

The postmortem report of Nigamananda raised huge controversies as his fellow Sanyasis in the Ashram were accused of feeding him poison.

According to news sources, the trucks and the cranes are despoiling the Ganga river bed. The mining operations along the Ganga are illegal. Moreover, the areas where the government have permitted, the contractors illegally mine deeper and outside their permitted areas.

Alok Kumar, an environmentalist said, "It is difficult to stop as the margins are 200-300 per cent. A truck pays about Rs. 200 to fill up with sand. This is then sold at 3 times the price in the market."

Like other metropolitan cities, there have been a rising demand for construction. Hence, this has led to necessity of more sand for construction.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had written to the Uttrakhand Chief Minister last year specifically asking the government to rein in illegal mining around Haridwar. After Swami Nigamanand's death, he has now promised to invoke Central provisions to crack down these miners.

OneIndia News

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