Stakeholders to challenge new sand mining policy in HC

Stakeholders to challenge new sand mining policy in HC

The decision was taken at a general meeting of the JAC held here on Tuesday.
Addressing members, JAC Advisor B S Chandru said that the policy was drafted by 15 officials in Bangalore without holding discussion with the stakeholders.He said, “a public hearing was not conducted before the draft was forwarded to the Cabinet. A Cabinet Sub Committee was formed to look into the issue, but the committee did not consult sand miners and transporters so far.”

Chandru said that the status quo should be maintained for coastal districts considering the topographic variations. “Now the sand is available at a very low price in Dakshina Kannada because of the relaxations in the rules. The price will shoot up once the uniform sand mining policy comes to force,” he said.

JAC President Mayur Ullal said that the new policy prohibits contractors from carrying out mining manually. “The policy stipulates that the mining should be carried out using dredging machines and JCBs only. Sub contractor will have to shell out lakhs to buy such machines,” he explained adding that hundreds of families who depend on sand mining for their livelihood will be put to hardships.

There are relaxations in the current rules for sand miners in coastal districts. However, the same relaxations were not considered while drafting the new policy, Ullal said. Further, he questioned the district administration as to why the GPS was made compulsory when the government is all set to introduce the new policy. “We will challenge these issues in the High Court,” he added.

JAC will hold a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office on December 14. “Sand mining work will be stopped for a day as a mark of protest,” Ullal said adding that JAC team will meet all people’s representatives and the District In-charge Minister J Krishna Palemar before holding the protest.

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