Surprise raid exposes illegal sand transportation, one held

As the new sand policy comes into force in the district, a surprise raid by minister for medical education and district in-charge S A Ramdas exposed illegal transportaion of sand on Monday. The minister who was accompanied by a band of officials stumbled upon at least nine sand-laden trucks during a surprise check at the tollgate on T Narasipur road in city.

The police seized seven sand-laden lorries and have arrested a driver. The driver was held when he tried to escape along with the lorry when the minister and officials raided near the checkpost. The minister accompanied by deputy commissioner P S Vastrad and MCC Commissioner K S Raykar and police officers paid an early morning visit to the tollgate near Alanahalli where about seven sand lorries were seized. The sand lorry owners who arrived on the spot within minutes entered into a wordy duel with the minister and denounced the new policy that came into effect.

“The sand lorry owners and drivers are dependent on sand transportation for livelihood. The new policy to auction sand through PWD is unfair. The district administration should maintain status quo and continue with the old system,” they insisted. Replying to the argument, deputy commissioner P S Vastrad said lorry owners who have permits are only eligible to transport sand. He asked the owners to pay a fine of Rs 5000 and a separate DD of Rs 4,000 towards the sand for the release of the seized sand-laden trucks.

However, the lorry owners continued their stir. The minister and the official team which moved to Nadanahalli check post had to return empty handed – raising a suspicion that illegal sand transporters were alerted and changed their route.

Officers are responsible

Here, the minister vented his ire on the officers responsible for not effectively implementing the new policy. He expressed his shock and surprise how the illegal transporters could manage to buy the sand and transport it. He warned of severe action against errant officials beginning Tuesday.

Ramdas told that he would not bow to any pressure. Each load of sand would cost about Rs 4,000 for sand lorry owners and they are permitted to load up to 5.5 cubic sand.

The market rate of the sand load should not exceed Rs 7500 for the outskirts. While, the sand can be transported only between 6 am and 6 pm, he said.

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