Sand extraction continues unabated

Trucks transporting sand pass through check posts without any scrutiny

Sand extraction continues unabated

Sand mining continues unabated in the district even as the High Court of Karnataka has issued notices to district in-charge minister R Varthur Prakash, Mulbagal legislator Amaresh and others in a public interest litigation alleging illegal sand mining in the district.

The check posts set up to keep tabs on trucks transporting sand appears to have served no purpose. The sand-laden lorries ply without anyone checking them. The sand load is neither covered nor the trucks have any restriction on their operation.

Hundreds of lorries transporting sand from Mulbagal towards Bangalore could be seen on the road on any day. However, the lorries are neither checked for permit and other documents nor their registration numbers are noted down properly.

The check post in front of Narasimhateertha on the outskirts of Mulbagal, notorious for illegal sand extraction, provides an example of the functioning of check posts.

Two personnel have been appointed to the check post on daily wage basis, who work in two shifts - 8 am to 8 pm and 8 pm to 8 am.The objective of ensuring round-the-clock staff is to see that illegal transportation of sand is checked 24 hours a day.

The system, however, has failed miserably. When Deccan Herald went to the check post around 8 am on Sunday, the man in charge was in deep sleep. Several lorries had already proceeded towards Kolar.

The functioning of the check post mirrors the administration as well as a district-level committee formed to check illegal sand mining.

Duties at check post

Vinod, in-charge of the check post at Narasimhateertha said his duty involves noting down the registration number of sand-laden lorries which pass through the check post.

The lorries are not flagged off for verification of relevant documents. The details of the trucks with permits are noted down in a separate register.

While the Public Works Department has stopped sand extraction, Vinod had no answer when questioned about numerous lorries transporting sand.

Nangali police seized 50 lorries transporting sand on the night of October 13. According to the entries at the check post register, as many as 185 lorries without permit have passed through the check post between 6.15 am on October 13 and 12.50 pm on October 14.

The staff had no answer on details of lorries which crossed the check post after 12 50 pm. He was in sleep.

M Shivaprakash, the advocate who has filed the public interest litigation in the High Court, said the court has directed suitable measures to prevent illegal sand mining and it was unfortunate that the administration was yet to act on the direction.

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