By Smita Adhikari, Pokhara, June 11: The revenue collection from the excavation of sand from different rivers of Pokhara including the Seti River has increased by three fold.
According to Pokhara Metropolitan City Office, Revenue Section, even though the COVID crisis is going on since the previous year, sand excavation is being continued unabated. "As a result, the revenue from excavation activities has grown highly than that of past years," Section Chief Ganesh Pandey said.
The Office informed that the revenue paid by different excavation companies added Rs. 300 million in Pokhara Metropolis's income this fiscal year so far. According to revenue chief Pandey, this amount is three times more than that of previous fiscal years.
Pokhara metropolis has declared 34 places (Ghat) within different rivers for sand excavation. From which yearly almost 3 lakh cubic meters of sand has been collected.
Among those, much amount of sand has been excavated from the Ramghat Seti River.
After evaluating the Environment Impact Analysis (EIA) and also considering the risk of a huge sand deposited area the metropolitan technical team determines the excavation points within rivers.
This year only, the metropolis has made an agreement to a dozen contractors allowing them for the excavation from declared points. Once, they agree with the metropolitan office, they get to excavate all the months of the year except three months of the rainy season. They are paying Metropolis Rs. 710 per cubic meter excavation.
However, the act of excavating has been hit by the COVID crisis because the laborers are on leave and the government has not been allowing sand carried vehicles during prohibitory order.
"If there was no prohibitory order, we would have been able to dig up sand completely but due to prohibition we have been able to dig up just 50 per cent sand so far." one of the contractors Hira Man Bhandari said.