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River Mining in Uttarakhand

Context: CM lobbied, Centre went against rules, courts to allow river mining in Uttarakhand.The Uttarakhand government's.....

Context: CM lobbied, Centre went against rules, courts to allow river mining in Uttarakhand.

The Uttarakhand government’s decision to continue mining four rivers, despite environmental risks and legal requirements, has raised concerns about the state’s commitment to environmental conservation.

  • The state government has been involved in mining activities in four rivers: Gaula, Sharda, Dabka, and Kosi.
  • These mining activities have been ongoing for several years, generating significant revenue for the government.
  • Just from one of the rivers, the government has made around Rs 100 crore annually by extracting minerals, sand, and stones.
  • The mining operations in these rivers have been a lucrative source of income for the state government.
Current Situation
  • The state government has failed to comply with environmental protection terms related to mining in the rivers.
  • In February, the Union government approved mining in the rivers for another five years, despite the state government’s non-compliance.
  • The Union government disregarded guidelines and court orders by allowing mining in the Gaula river during the monsoon month of June.
  • Mining during the monsoon is typically prohibited to allow the rivers to recover from the damages caused by extensive mining.
  • This decision by the Union government goes against efforts to protect the rivers and their ecosystems.
Why it matters:
  • Negligent mining practices by the government in the rivers resulted in the removal of stones and obstacles from the river bed.
  • This led to the formation of unpredictable water routes, causing damage to farmland and bridges.
  • The removal of stones and disturbances in the river bed can contribute to increased landslides in the region.
  • Uttarakhand has been facing significant issues related to landslides, which could be linked to the government’s mining practices.
  • The government’s negligent actions have had adverse effects on the environment and the livelihoods of people in Uttarakhand.
FAQs Related with River Mining
Ques 1: What is river mining?

Answer: River mining refers to the extraction of minerals, sand, and stones from riverbeds for commercial purposes.

Ques 2: What are the common minerals extracted through river mining?

Answer: Common minerals extracted through river mining include sand, gravel, clay, gold, diamonds, and other precious metals or gemstones.

Ques 3: What are the environmental impacts of river mining?

Answer: River mining can lead to habitat destruction, sedimentation, erosion, water pollution, and disruption of ecosystems, affecting aquatic life and local communities.

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