Illegal sand mining continues unabated

Will two ministers be able to check it? ask public

Illegal sand mining continues unabated

With the delay in introducing new sand mining policy in the district, the illegal sand filtering business on the banks of river, lake, streams are thriving day-by-day.

This surely does not require any proof because everyone is well aware of the ongoing sand mining in banks of almost every major river in the district.

With the illegal sand mining being carried out unabated, the common man is finding it difficult to get sand at an affordable price to carry out the construction work.

The illegal mining is rampant in places like Neradi, Titugana, Halasumane, Kodalu-Vajuvalli, Dinnekere, Kabbina Setuve, Madeneralu, Kundur, Mavinakere, Mathikere in Chikmagalur taluk, Nidagodu, Biranji lake inn Somanahalli village in Belur taluk. The sand is extracted from the river day and night with the help of mechanised boats and hitachis.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, one of the villager on condition of anonymity said that the illegal miners convince the land owners by the river side for carrying out sand mining either by offering monetary benefits or by threatening them. 

“Loads of sand are transported in tippers, lorries and tractors from Kodalu village near Halasumane for the last one week.

The sand is transported to Gendehalli, Belur, Chikmagalur regions via Kodalu-Vajuvalli-Halasumane route. In fact, several loads of sand is illegally stored in front of some of the houses in Kodalu village. The movement of sand laden lorries have taken a toll on the roads in the village.

The villagers alleged that the sand miners have dug the road that connects Vajuvalli-Kodalu near Biranjihalli, thus causing great inconvenience to the movement of vehicles.

They have damaged the paddy fields and the plantations by the side of the stream for the sake of sand. Despite the illegal sand mining along the side of Biranjihalla, none of the departments including the Revenue Department, Mines and Geology Department, PWD have taken steps to check illegal sand mining. 

“The district administration has not taken an initiative to put an end to sand mafia. Deputy Commissioner has not opened sand stockyard as per his earlier assurance and check posts, to check illegal transportation of sand.

The district administration has not moved in accordance with the assurance letter it has written to the High Court,” complained Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene District General Secretary Gurushanthappa.

Welcoming the sand, policy of allowing permission for sand transaction to only those trucks with GPS installed in them, he regretted that unfortunately the system has been not implemented. One truck load of sand costs Rs 12,000 to Rs 14,000, making it almost impossible for the poor to build their dream houses.

Responding to the issue, Tahsildar Veena said that there is no permission to extract sand in Biranjihalla. “We will send a team of officials to the spot for inspection and then take necessary action.”

Minister C T Ravi and D N Jeevaraj were dead against illegal sand mining in the past. As holding ministerial berth, will they take positive steps to check illegal sand mining in the region is a millon dollar question.

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