With number of villages alongside Sutlej river and its tributary Swan inundated, many are now pointing illegal sand mining, especially in Ropar district, for weakening Dhussi Band and leading to flooding.
The district was in news whole last year due to illegal sand mining. Through the year, various activists against illegal mining have been pointing to miners creating huge craters in the river bed, encroaching the river bed and using Dhussi Bandh for transportation of sand through by heavily loaded tipper-trucks.
“This was waiting to happen. We have been raising an alarm. But nobody cared. Now, many villages have been flooded as Sutlej is changing is course as stone crushing units have come up in the river bed. The river has to carry water and hence it is changing course,” said Paramjit Singh, an Advocate from Ropar, who has been fighting a battle against illegal sand mining since 2016. He had moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) also and fought the case for two years before dropping it for want of money.
Another activist, Dinesh Chadha, who also went to NGT against illegal mining in Ropar, said, “The Sutlej has changed its course and it has resulted in flooding in some villages, including Gajjpur, Hariwal and Chandpur near Anandpur Sahib. It is for anyone to see.”