Several thousands sand mine workers hold protest meeting against “ban” on use of Boats

Led by AIKMS several thousands sand mine workers assemble at Bheeta hillock today and raised slogans against govt ban on boats, use of machines by sand mafia and lodging of false cases against leaders of sand workers. The workers had assembled from more than 50 villages from Allahabad, Kaushambi, and Mau where work has been effected and more than 1 lac families have been rendered jobless.

The leaders explained the miseary of the workers who have no work and no income, their children are being send back schools as their fee is not paid, their dues, debts are rising due and there is no money for treatment of the sick.

The leaders severely criticized the govt. for stopping operation of boats in the name of NGT order even though officials are unble to show where the NGT has said that mining by boats or from mid stream shall not be done. Mid stream mining and dredging is normal manner to clean the river bed and protect both the environment and the employment and several GOs and High Court orders have reiterated that.

The leaders said that some official has casually interpreted the NGT order in his own way, neither the workers have been informed, nor they have been given opportunity of hearing before passing this order. In the NGT case in 2018 the complainant made wild allegations of excessive boat mining, AIKMS made a detailed representation to the Commisioner Ald on 19 Dec 2018, but he failed to hear the workers problems and also did not state the correct facts before the NGT.

By this illegal mining from river ghat is being allowed and legal mining from river bed mid stream is being stopped, because it serves vested money interests of mafia, officials and political masters.

The leaders explained that the NGT order clearly says “remove JCB or other machines being used for illegal extraction of sand from site”, but officials have permitted JCB machines. Several High Court orders also have banned the use of machines, but the administration has shown no respect. When JCB machines dig up embankments to exract cheap sand, they destroys the acquatic and biotic life on embankments and also disturb the natural flow of the river. Allahabad officials are refusing to accept this truth.

 The leaders condemned the lone lease holder Piyush Ranjan for illegally extracting Rs 6000 for a ravanna for which he pays less than Rs 600 to the Govt. Local police is hand in glove with him.

They also raised the question of stopping illegal taxes by the police from tractor trolleys and freedom of local supply of sand by these tractors.

They appealed to govt to include workers representatives and village pradhans also while taking decisions on sand minning and not just revenue officials and contractors so that such anti-worker decisions are not taken.

They also raised the question of false cases lodged by the police, of illegal mining on persons who do not do mining and of booking them under Gangster Act when it does not apply to mining.

Leaders announced a series of meetings in the area to continue to rally the workers and put pressure on the adminmistration to solve this problem.

The workers were addressed by National GS of AIKMS, Dr. Ashish Mital, UP GS Heera Lal, Allahabad President Ram Kailash Kushwaha, Vice President Suresh Nishad, Kaushambi GS Phoolchand Nishad, Advocate Saheb Lal Nishad, Comrades Jeetu Nishad of Madaripur,  Babbu Nishad of Jagdishpur, Karan Nishad of Lavain, Vinod Nishad of Beekar, Rajan Nishad of Nivhi, Chandrawati of Ujihini, Sandeep of Baswar. Ald GS Raj Kumar Pathik conducted the proceedings.