Unauthorised extraction of minerals, gravel in Thatta district continues

Published December 18, 2019
Residents of these villages said blasts and noise of heavy machinery disturbing the otherwise peaceful atmosphere in their localities were order of the day. — File
Residents of these villages said blasts and noise of heavy machinery disturbing the otherwise peaceful atmosphere in their localities were order of the day. — File

THATTA: Unauthorised traders and truckers have been continuing to extract yellow stone, iron ore, limestone, marble and gravel (reti bajri) from different areas of Thatta city, Sonda, Jherruk and other parts of Thatta district causing pilferage of the mineral resources of the coastal belt and heavy losses to the provincial kitty.

Official and unofficial sources told Dawn during a recent visit to the areas that tonnes of the mineral resources were being extracted and transported to Karachi, Hyderabad and other cities every day.

Routinely, 30 to 40 truckloads of golden marble, limestone, iron ore and other minerals as well as gravel were being transported from these areas, they said.

Wondering why no officials of the departments concerned kept a check on the illegal activity of extraction and transportation of these consignments, they apprehended that the traders and truckers were hands in glove with them in this unauthorised business.

“One could see heavy machinery at work any time during the day near many villages like Sheikh Ismail, Lakho Pir, Dadori, Jherruk, Chillya and Onger,” sources requesting anonymity pointed out.

Residents of these villages, including Kamal Shoro, Mumtaz Jakhro, Pir Anwar Shah, Ibrahim Jakhro, Allah Jurio Burfat, Sarang Chandio and Sattar Bahrani, said blasts and noise of heavy machinery disturbing the otherwise peaceful atmosphere in their localities were order of the day.

They also complained that the extraction activity would keep the environment dusty.

Some of them said the blasts had caused cracks in the walls of their houses.

In the recent past, chief inspector of the mines and mineral department Syed Irshad Ahmed Jilani, acting upon such complaints had asked his subordinates to seek assistance of police in order to address the issue but the illegal activity has continued unabated till date.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2019

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