Illegal mining gains momentum here

Harmful

Sand mining continues on the backwaters of KRS dam at Kattepura near Ramanathapura. DH PHOTO

The sand mining, which was under control at Kattepura, Banugondi, Gobbali, Kavalu, Madapura and Kaduvina Hosahalli areas for the last several months, has once again raised its ugly head, thanks to the patronage by local political leaders.

They have brought hundreds of labourers from the neighbouring districts and involved in illegal sand lifting.

These labourers do not know local language but, demand more wages. They don’t mind even to remain in waters round-the-clock to collect the sand and shift it to the shore in coracles only to make fast bucks. It is so strange that on the one hand, works are on to modernise the Kattepura dam but on the other hand illegal sand lifting has been going on. The illegal mining is fast changing the natural topography of the area.

This may turn very dangerous in the coming days. With tonnes of sand being lifted from the river daily it is posing a threat to the foundation of the dam. In case the work on the dam is not completed before the rainy season starts, there is every chance of excess water inundating the dam. In spite of all these hazardous developments, the Taluk administration has turned a blind eye towards the issue, lament the environmentalists.

The trucks are overloaded with sand beyond the permissible limits thereby damaging roads. The local MLA had convened a meeting comprising RTO, police, officials of department of mines and geology and had completely stalled sand lifting in the region.

The roads were temporarily repaired last week but it looks as though they had been tarred for many years. Travelling is really a night mare on this stretch of road. Apart from all these, the rampant sand mining has polluted the river.

The same water is supplied for drinking to local residents. The villagers have urged the authorities concerned to wake up from their slumber and put an end to illegal sand mining.

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