Mining: HC notice to district administration

The Karnataka High Court has issued a notice to the district administration on illegal sand mining in district.

Following the notice, issued on a petition by Rajya Raitha Sangha, the district administration has put a brake on rampant sand mining on the banks of River Hemavathi and Thunga Bhadra.

In response to the notice served by the High Court, the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police will appear before the Court on April 13 and explain the reasons for their failure in controlling the illegal sand mining.

The Raitha Sangha members have complained that the departments concerned who are responsible to nab illegal sand mining are passing the buck between each other.

Owing to the lack of co-operation between the department officials, the sand miners have found it easy to bribe the officials.

 “The High Court has banned sand mining using mechanised boats and heavy machines. However, mining activity with the use of machines was going on the banks of River Hemavathi and Bhadra and in Biranji Halla, but the district administration did nothing to prevent it.

The High Court has also brought a ruling against the private individuals taking up mining work, which too has been violated in the district,” alleged Rajya Raitha Sangha District General Secretary Gurushanthappa.

On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner D K Rangaswamy says that the district administration has not permitted sand mining in the district.

“We have banned mining in those places where licences were issued earlier. Strict order has been given to the Public Works Department to take action against those involved in illegal mining,” he said

PWD Executive Engineer Nagaraj said, “Our Department has been handed over with the responsibility of managing sand mining at Hemavathi and Bhadra River banks.

Sand mining places were identified in 33 blocks of these river basins. Sand mining has been banned in nine blocks in Hemavathi River banks in Mudigere taluk and the order is in force from March 26.

The mining activity that is going on in Biranji Halla is completely illegal. We will bring this issue to the notice of the DC and will take necessary action to curb the mining.”

Sand turns costlier

Even as the sand mining is taking place unabated, the price for sand is shooting up.

A month ago, one load of sand was available in the market at Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 while now it costs not less than Rs 4,000.

One truck sand which cost around Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 a week ago, has now increased to Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,000.

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