Sand mining threatens Amruth Mahal Kaval

Sand mining threatens Amruth Mahal Kaval

Residents suspect nexus between officials, miners

(Left) Workers loading sand into tractors in Amruth Mahal kaval area in Kadur.

Though illegal mining activities have been going on unabated the Kaval authorities have remained silent. Seeing this, the residents of Yagati and Chaulahiriyur say that there are all possibilities of the authorities being hand in gloves with the illegal sand miners.

The Animal husbandary Department officials who are controlling the Kaval have not spared a minute to solve the existing problem. They have a readymade answer- shortage of staff in the office due to which they have not been able to look into the issue.

Though hundreds of tractors are loaded with sand from river Veda, which flows near Amruth Mahal, the authorities and the taluk administration have remained silent. The sand is taken in tractors and dumped on the roadsides nearby, from where it is loaded into lorries and taken to various places of demand.

Residents say that about five lorries were seized by the Deputy Commissioner but even this show seems to be an eyewash.

“When we asked the PWD and Revenue officials to conduct raids in the region in the night they backed out saying it is too cold to go out in the evening during winter season. This is one of the ways in which the authorities have been supporting illegal sand mining,” said a local resident.

A load (one lorry) of sand costs between Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,500 here. Two tractors loaded with sand cost about Rs 5,500 to Rs 9,000.

The sand loaded from here is taken to Tumkur, Arasikere, K B Cross and Banavara areas where there is huge demand for sand.

Residents say that curbing illegal sand mining in Yagati, Yaradakere, Chaulahiriyur villages is not difficult if the officials keep a close tab on the movement of the sand miners.

Villagers allege that the entire sand mining business is controlled by handful of powerful people from Lakshmipura, Yagati etc. “These influential persons have made lakhs of rupees in matter of few months,” they said.

Noise pollution has taken place in Kaval region already due to which the animals in the Kaval have been left in lurch. There are huge craters in the area, marring the beauty of the region.

The local residents say that there are some informers of the miners who will be sitting at tea joints and shops. When the vehicles of the officials pass by or when they get information about raids, they inform the parties involved in mining.

Due to this tip off, the mining activities could not be recorded by the officials during the raids. Thus these miners have saved themselves from official net. Later on the miners allegedly offer parties and feast to the officials and even the police to remain silent about the mining activities.

The sources in the department say that lorries belonging to a licensed contractor from Hosadurga near Mysore have been plying in the region due to which identifying lorries and vehicles of illegal sand miners has become difficult.

With the situation going from bad to worse the residents are planning of raising their voice against blatant exploitation of nature soon.

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