A rocking issue

ENVIRONMENTAL activists have blasted the Assam government for giving permission to a private party to carry out blasting of the Chandardinga Hill in Dhubri district. Saumyadeep Dutta, director of Nature's Beckon, a local environmental activist group, said the state government had allowed a private party, Rock Product Traders, to go for blasting of the Chandardinga Hill to supply rocks to Bangladesh for the construction of a dam. The activists have alleged that the blasting would cause not only severe environmental degradation but also social problems leading to untoward situation. A group of 500 activists staged a demonstration in the area last month.

Chandardinga Hill is a reserve forest covering an area of about 284 ha and blasting has been allowed in five ha. Valuable trees and medicinal plants are found in these forests. Besides, a good number of wild animals including barking deer, leopard, porcupine etc are found in the area. The activists fear the blasting would adversely affect river dolphins living in the Brahmaputra river, flowing just beneath the hill. The blasting may also cause siltation of the river which would cause serious flood problems in the nearby areas.

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