TURA, Feb 13 - Miscreants in North Garo Hills have devastated an entire river by illegally lifting sand and gravel from its bed.
According to locals, a land owner from the village who had land close to the river bed had sold off his land to a businessman, Harlding Marak, from Kharkutta, who immediately deployed heavy machinery to mine sand and gravel from the river bed leading to the widening of the river.
The small stream now has a huge pond-like structure before continuing on its journey downstream. “They used JCBs to mine the place which has left a huge hole in the ground by the river where water is now flowing into. Consequently water level has already gone down and we fear the stream will dry up in the coming months,” said a local.
The mining of sand gravel from the river has gone on for more than three months now. “The mining has been done without any form of environmental clearance or permission from any authority,” stated another local.
The matter was informed to the deputy commissioner of NGH who stated that action would follow immediately. “This is dangerous and we will look into what happened,” he added. The mining from the devastated site has currently been stopped.