Illegal sand mining rampant in Chitravathi river basin

Lack of vigil by authorities has helped it prosper

In spite of ban, there is a rampant illegal sand mining in the taluk on  the Chitravathi river bed.

The taluk has no major water sources, hence, groundwater is precious here. With the increased dependency on groundwater, the water level has depleted and water is not available even at depths of 1,000 ft.

As a result, water sources have dried up in the taluk.

Besides, rampant sand mining has also affected the groundwater level.

Considering alarming depletion of water level, the government issued the ban order. The government order was hailed by environmentalists and various organisations who protested against the illegal sand mining. But the order seems to have had no impact on those indulging in illegal sand mining. Besides, no vigil by the authorities concerned has encouraged such law violators.

Only a few river beds in the taluk were officially marked for sand mining, from where the sand is transported by the Public Works Department to Bangalore and other areas.

Couple buried alive

But a few farmers have violated the regulation and transport sand in bullock cart, illegally. Last month, a couple was buried alive at an illegal sand mining site. But no measure was  initiated to check the illegal activity by the authorities concerned, complained residents .

A group of four-five farmers are allegedly indulging in the sand mining, it is said and they earn from Rs 400 to Rs 450 per load in the bullock cart, everyday.

‘Muddy’ affair

As it appears lucrative, many farmers have bid good bye to farming instead opting for sand mining.

In order to hoodwink the officials, heap of sand is covered with mud while transporting by the farmers, it is said.

With many houses coming up on the outskirts of the town, there is a boom in construction activity and as a  result there is a high demand for sand, an essential material.

The government must act swift in this regard and check rampant sand mining in the taluk, said an office-bearer of the Raitha Sangha.

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