•  Spread the word
 •  Contact the author Illegal mining near Rajaji National Park
Yogesh Dahiya

16 April 2006

We are a group of farmers based near the Rajaji National Park in Uttaranchal and have reported illegal stone and sand mining activities in the area to local and national authorities. Our fields are in Banjarowala Grant village, Haridwar district near the border of Uttaranchal and U.P. They touch the border of Rajaji National Park and Shivalik forest.

We grow chickpea (gram), alsi, teera, mustard, til, maize, groundnut, and fruit plants such as kinnoo, mausami, malta, santra, and amla. We also grow timber plants such as poplar, tunn, paulonia, eucalyptus, teak and medicinal plants such as safed musli, aloe vera, tulsi, etc. Our practice is organic.

The miners are operating within the eco fragile zone (10 km of the boundary) of Rajaji National Park and Shivalik forest. There are numerous stone crushers and stone breaking contractors working here. Tractor-trolleys and bullock-carts are being used in mining stones, pebbles and sand. Some mining is happening in our fields also.

Stone crushers are also located in the eco fragile zone. They do not follow standards for suspended particulate matter, as notified by the Central Pollution Control Board. The pollutants are killing our crops.

The Mohandwali river is seasonal and its water flow is very nominal. It flows through revenue lands, and yet the revenue department is not demarcating the mining area. It is instead allowing the stone miners to collect stone, pebbles and sand everywhere. The miners are also working outside the river area in our agricultural fields, near our water spurs and stealing even our barbed wires and RCC pillars.

The miners are working around the clock, whereas the rule is that they mine from sunrise to sunset. Apparently, the permission is only for picking of stones and pebbles. But the reality is that they are digging to a depth of up to 7-8 metres. The tractor-trolleys mostly do not display the registration number. Drivers and labourers are sometimes drunk and ready to quarrel if we request them to get out of our lands.

We have been requesting government officials to help save our agricultural land, but no one has responded. We have written to the President of India, Prime Minister, concerned officers at the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the Central Pollution Control Board. We have also written to the Government of Uttaranchal, including the Governor, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, District Magistrate, SDM, and officials of Rajaji National Park. Neither police or administration has come forward to act.

Yogesh Dahiya
16 Apr 2006

Yogesh Dahiya is based in Rishikesh, Dehradun district, Uttaranchal, and is one of the impacted farmers. Other farmers are Chandershekhar, Shiksha Devi, Kela Devi, Radhika, Rajesh, Girvar, Vinayak, Surenderpal Singh.

Citizen Direct is India Together's channel for publishing reports from citizens who have detailed information about specific civil society concerns and matters, by virtue of their participation, association, or independent observation. These reports are therefore as witnessed and understood by the authors themselves; India Together accepts no liability or responsibility for them.   More

 •  Spread the word
 •  Contact the author

Post your comment below, or View Existing Comments (1)

Post a comment
Note: Your post will appear within 24 hours unless found inappropriate (spam, netabuse).
See policy

Remember personal info?

For verification, please enter the security code you see below

Note: Your post will appear within 24 hours unless found inappropriate (spam, netabuse). See policy


  • Posted by Govind on April 17, 2006 10:25 AM

    I appreciate the efforts of the farmers who had the courage to bring out this to the general public.

    But it seems..yet again..the Government will wait till the situation gets out of hand...and will only then..react.

Post your comment