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MP CM announces complete ban on sand mining from Narmada; use of machines on other rivers

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: In a major conservation move, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday announced complete ban on any kind of sand mining activity on River Narmada till a report of newly constituted technical committee is received.

Chouhan also announced ban on use of digging machines of any kind for sand extraction on all the rivers of Madhya Pradesh. On these rivers, except Narmada, manual extraction would continue.

The official notification in this regard would be issued on Monday itself, the CM said.

To ensure adequate sand supply, the MP government would incentivize production of sand by crushing sandstone, the chief minister said at a press conference on Monday.

The technical committee, headed by mining minister Rajendra Shukla would have experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur and would suggest ways of safe sand mining, he said.

Also six crore saplings would be planted in the catchment area of River Narmada, Chouhan reiterated.

The MP Congress Committee has meanwhile termed the announcement as eyewash. Chief spokesperson KK Mishra said that the sand supply companies owned by the CM’s kin have already illegally stocked huge amount of sand.

Sand mining is anyway not allowed during monsoon and taking advantage of the situation, the companies would black market the sand, jacking up the prices as high as Rs 70,000 per truck, Mishra said.

The five-month Narmada Seva Yatra spearheaded by Chouhan recently concluded and the government had drawn flak for continued illegal sand mining in huge quantities from the river even as the Yatra was happening.

Sravani Sarkar

Editor-in-Chief Sravani Sarkar has been a journalist for 21 years. She started her career with Lokmat Times and had later joined Indian Express. She worked with Hindustan Times for 15 yrs. An award winning journalist, she is known for her work on malnutrition and women's issues in central India.