Stop sand mining for five years, says PWD

Stop sand mining for five years, says PWD

Illegal mining has taken a toll on the environment

The officials of Public Work Department who are in-charge of sand mining have opined that sand mining will have to be completely stopped in the region for four to five years to reverse the damage done to nature due to restless mining.

This statement gives an insight into the extent of damage done to the nature.

On the other hand environmentalists feel that if the forest department and other departments concerned visits the sand mining areas, then they might recommend banning of the sand mining activities for 10 more years.

According to sources, the PWD is planning to submit a report on banning sand mining in the district after looking at the High Court order. “The illegal sand mining has taken a toll on the environment and precious flaura and fauna. There is a need to ban illegal sand mining in the region and the guilty should be punished,” feel many.

“The sand mafia is strong in the district. The officials are silent over the blatant exploitation of sand resources in the district. Sand mining was banned in the district between 2006 and 2008. This ban must be extended to protect the nature. If the new sand mining policy is implemented effectively, then illegal sand mining can be contained,” said an official who did not want to disclose his name.

Yuvashakthi Manavatha Vedike President Sathish says “if the rules are implemented effectively, then illegal sand mining can be stopped within 24 hours, but reluctance of officials concerned has kept it going on in the district”.

Filtered sand mafia

Filtered sand mafia is indeed a big problem in the district. Though the state government imposed a ban on filtered sand, the mafia is active  and thriving in forest lands at Kalasapura, Marle, Hosakote, Ramanahalli, K R Pete.  The officials have failed to check the filtered sand mafia, alleged a farmer leader.

Action

With the reports on illegal sand mafia thriving in the region, the district administration has decided to implement the new sand policy effectively in the district. The officials have raided those areas where illegal sand mining was taking place and have registered cases against the offenders. It is also planning to set up check post at Hiremagalur.

Mobile squad will be patrolling in industrial areas. Those trucks which were engaged in transporting sand without possessing valid permit will be asked to pay of a fine of Rs 5,000 in the past. The fine has been increased to Rs One lakh from Saturday. The officials have seized 110 loads of sand which were stored illegally near Coffee Day and Halasumane. About 268 lorries and tractors have been seized so far. A sum of Rs 17 lakh has been collected as fine, said sources.

Royalty

In the last one year, royalty of Rs 2.90 crore has been collected for sand mining in the region. However, the state government would have incurred a huge loss due to illegal sand mining in the region. The PWD collects Rs 350 for one cubic metre of sand. Three cubic metre of sand is needed to load one tractor. One lorry load is eight cubic metre sand. For one load of sand in lorry, a sum of Rs 2,800 should be paid to the PWD. In the past one load of sand was available for Rs 1,050.

However, now one load sand in tractor is available for Rs 4,000 and one load sand in lorry is sold for Rs 15,000. Inspite of paying hefty amount, quality sand is not available.  

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