Dist admn gears up to rein in sand mafia

Sand policy

Heaps of sand at a mining spot in Palar. DH photoThe administration has constituted a committee comprising departments of mines and geology, public works and revenue and has identified sand deposits across the district.

According to a survey, the sand deposits are found in Mulluru, Hampapura, Agrahara, Saragur, Dhanagere, Sathegala in Kollegal taluk across 684 acres of land. It is estimated that about 28,56,615 metric tonne of sand is available in the Cauvery river basin.

The panel has listed 684 acres of land in 58 blocks and has suggested for the extraction of the sand from the government land agencies like public works department and public auction it through the private agencies.

As the sand will be lifted manually, a tonne of sand is likely to be fixed at Rs 540. Also, the buyers would have to produce building plan and the sand requirement to get the sand, sources said.

The mining will be allowed as per the guidelines issued by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board under the new policy. The officials hope to check illegal mining through the new sand policy. There would be no permission to lift the sand from the Patta land anywhere in district, said an official.

Under the previous system, the mining licenses were issued to the private agencies so far. The government received Rs 11.69 crore royalty from these agencies. About 50 per cent of the royalty was given to the local elected bodies like the grama panchayat and the taluk panchayat.  

Presently, the administration has kept all the licenses under suspension after the announcement of new sand policy.

The district committee has powers to grant permission for mining to these agencies till June 15.

There have been illegal sand mining happening unabated in most parts of the cauvery basin in the district. The illegal sand lifting and selling of sand is rampant in Kollegal.  
Surprisingly, the mining mafia are also active in Palar forest area. The sand lifted from the region is illegally transported to Tamil Nadu, say the local residents.

Deputy Director of Mines and Geology B D Narasimha Murthy told Deccan Herald that the department would conduct raids on illegal sand mining units with the support of police department soon.

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