Uttarakhand on Thursday constituted a Special Mining Vigilance Force to tackle illegal mining in ecologically sensitive zones along the Ganga and its tributaries, making it the first state to have such a force.
DIG Sanjay Gunjyal will head of the force which will have its headquarters here, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told reporters, terming it as a move which will effectively control illegal mining in the state.
With this, Uttarakhand becomes the first state to have an adequately staffed and equipped separate force to rein in illegal mining, he said.
Illegal mining is prevalent at about 10 different places in the state including Kotdwar, Haldwani, Vikasnagar and Haridwar.
The state government has also decided to create an eco task force in Rudraprayag and Bageshwar districts which will generate employment opportunities for nearly 1,500 people, Bahuguna said.
50 per cent of the posts in the eco task force will be reserved for women, he said.
He also informed that 42 villages of Govind Pashuvihar in Uttarkashi district have been delinked from reserved forest area which will open up fresh avenues of development in these hamlets.
A final notification identifying an area spread over 481.05 sq km as reserved forest has been issued and 42 villages which were earlier part of it have been kept out of its ambit for the sake of development.
On the current status of rehabilitation efforts in the rain-ravaged state, Bahuguna said death certificates for people who went missing in the mid-June calamity in Uttarakhand will be made available to authorities of the states concerned within a week so that their kin could be compensated financially.