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Govt fails to check link roads to river

 The PWD, Mining and Forest Departments have failed to check the illegal link roads leading to the riverbeds in the Beas and Tirtha rivers, which have become the hotbed for the mining mafia operating with the alleged connivance of the field staff.

The PWD, national highway wing, blames illegal link roads to the riverbed of the Beas, saying these links lead to the cremation grounds and are used by nearby villages.

The link road, which led the 24 Hyderabad students to the Beas riverbed on Sunday, is used by locals as a path to the cremation and dumping grounds.

But these roads and rafting paths are a boon for the mining mafia to extract sand and boulders used in nearby stone crushers, revealed inquiries from locals.

This is not the only illegal link from the national highway leading to the Beas and the Tirthan riverbeds, being protected as an exclusive trout habitat.

The mining is banned as all waste land is considered as the forest land, said the officials.

Raft operators, whose number has soared to over 500 in the Beas from Jhiri to Katrain, have made their treks both sides of the river to rope in tourists for the rafting joyrides.

But the highway authorities are facing problem putting up signboards as these are removed by locals, said Vikram Mehta, Executive Engineer, NH-21.

Locals were aware of the dry zone stretches of the Beas, but outsiders were not aware about the water discharge from the dam site, he added.

 

June 15, 2014, The Tribune