Noida: Noida is facing an acute shortage of vegetables due to illegal sand mining along the Yamuna river belt, leading to skyrocketing prices, claim local residents.
Locals say the fertile river belt has been grabbed by the sand mafia, which is mining sand in violation of a Supreme Court order which ruled that permission is required to extract sand from a five hectare plot along the river.
However, the Uttar Pradesh government allowed sand mining on a two hectare plot. Instead of the allocated two-metre-deep digging, the sand mafia are digging up to five metres deep in connivance with police.
"Due to this illegal mining, farmers could not grow vegetables, which ultimately caused scarcity of vegetables in markets. Noida, which was self-reliant on vegetables, had to depend on Azadpur vegetable market in Delhi," said Dushyant Nagar, a farmer leader.