Bhojpur erects bridge barrier to halt sand mining boats

01 Nov 2023

After attempting for years to curb illegal sand mining, authorities in Bihar's Bhojpur district have devised a novel approach. They have constructed pillars in the Sone river on both sides of the Arrah-Sahar bridge to prevent boats from transporting illegally mined sand between Bhojpur and Patna, and vice versa.

The districts of Bhojpur and Patna have registered the highest number of cases related to illegal sand mining in Bihar. The annual losses to the state exchequer are estimated to be around Rs 70 billion. According to officials, boats play a significant role in transporting illegally mined sand. The pillars erected in the Sone river effectively obstruct even small boats from passing under the bridge on either side. The construction of these pillars took place over the past three to four months.

The issue of sand mining in Bihar gained recent attention when, during a raid in Jamui district, a tractor carrying sand fatally struck a police sub-inspector. Bhojpur, in particular, has been closely scrutinised by the police and the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT has imposed a ban on sand mining in Bihar for a specified period each year since 2017.

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