The illegal dredging of sand from the Vaitarna river is threatening the safety of the rail bridge between Vaitarna and Safale stations in Palghar district of Maharashtra, police said on Wednesday. A criminal offence was registered against two persons recently at Mandvi police station under section 151 of the Railways Act (Damage to or destruction of certain railway properties), various sections of the Indian Penal Code, and the Environment Protection Act for illegal sand mining.
No arrest is made so far, a police officer said.
Vaitarna and Saphale railway stations lie next to Virar on the western line of the Mumbai suburban network.
”During the inspection of the bridge on Monday, police found a suction pump was pulling out sand from the Vaitarna river. The pump was found mounted on a boat in the vicinity. The sand was being collected and heaped at the site,” he said.
Police destroyed the suction pump and the boat. ”The act of illegal dredging of sand has made the railway bridge over the Vaitarna river unsafe and also disturbed the environment,” the FIR stated.