Sand lifting; 13 trucks seized

Tahsildar led team raids several places; gives deaf ear to a local legislators call

The raid was led by Tahsildar Mathai, accompanied by officials of the Department of Mines and Geology. The team found out illegal storage of sand on the banks of Yagachihole.

Three coracles and a tractor that were used to transport the sand were seized. While the  tractor seized later, was being taken towards Hassan, residents of Kandali raised strong objection to the raid. Interestingly, the tractor did not have a number plate.

The residents claimed that they were transporting sand to build a temple and ruled out doing any business. The tahsildhar said he was not questioning to where it is being transported, but only asking them to produce the letter of permission or else it becomes illegal.

Influence

At this juncture, local politicians contacted a legislator and tried to influence the tahsildar. The  officer refused to talk to the MLA and came straight to Hassan with the seized tractor.Then the team came to Channapatna bypass (Hosakoppal) and seized scores of lorries which were transporting sand illegally. Except one or two, others did not have permits.

The police faced difficulty in taking the seized trucks to the police station due to shortage of staff. While the tahsildar was busy in stopping the sand laden trucks, the cops were looking helpless. None of the senior police officer pick up the call despite tahsildhar made repeated attempts to contact them for summoning additional police force to the spot. After sometime, Traffic Inspector came to the spot and he spoke to his seniors and got additional personnel from the police stations.

The permits were found doctored by truck drivers. Although the permits were genuine, they had changed the registration number of vehicles. Upon inquiry, they admitted of doctoring the permits as the vehicles mentioned in the documents broke down while bringing sand. All those trucks were seized on the spot.

One of the seized trucks belonged to a local BJP leader. On receiving information, the leader came to the spot and requested the tahsildhar to release the vehicle as it was transporting sand to build house. When Mathai did not heed, the person claimed himself as BJP leader and tried to contact Housing and District In-Charge Minister V Somanna to put pressure on the revenue officer. However, Somanna’s cell phone was out of reach.

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