Mining is only anti-dote to curb rising level of rivers: Rawat

 Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday appealed to opposition BJP to refrain from using terms like "mining mafia" while attacking the government and said mining within legal sanctions is necessary to save cities located along the banks of rivers.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 23, 2015, 23:15 PM IST

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday appealed to opposition BJP to refrain from using terms like "mining mafia" while attacking the government and said mining within legal sanctions is necessary to save cities located along the banks of rivers.

"BJP leaders are levelling serious allegations against the state government, like it is giving patronage to the mining mafia and trying to create an atmosphere in Uttarakhand which is not conducive to mining activities. It is not fair," Rawat told reporters here this evening.

"Mining on riverbeds is necessary to save the cities located along their banks and to maintain the cultivability of agricultural land.

"They should avoid using serious words like mafia in this context," he said adding they must learn to draw the line somewhere even while attacking the party in power.

Level of rivers in the state has risen by 1 to 1.5 metres over the years. Mining is necessary to bring them back to their normal levels so that cities along their banks could be saved from being inundated, the chief minister explained.

"If the level of rivers continues to rise, it may cause danger not only to cities along their banks but also to cultivable land. Mining is the only anti-dote," he said.

He said if mining is properly done in the rivers of Uttarakhand which is fighting paucity of resources, it could get additional revenue worth Rs 100 crore.