Farmers selling away land for big money to sand miners

 A senior citizen from Nangali village in Mulbagal taluk has filed a case in the police station against illegal sand mining in the agriculture fields and tanks in the Mushtur Gram Panchayat (GP) limits. He wants sand mining to be stopped at the earliest to protect the environment.

B N Gopalakrishnaswamy, a retired technical officer in the Railway department, filed a case, along with former head of the Mandal Panchayat Krishnappa, when he found that sand mining was being taken up in lands around his field. This was even before a public interest litigation was filed in the High Court by the GP and some villagers against the illegal sand mining.

Most farmers in the taluk have sold their lands for sand mining for the lure of big money. Gopalakrishnaswamy has grown ragi on his land using borewell water. A huge pit has been dug beside Gopalakrishnaswamy’s field, but sand mining has been stopped for the time being, following the complaint.

He has been making efforts towards protection of agriculture fields and is pained at the loot of natural resources like sand. He said rampant sand mining would prevent water from retaining in the fields, thus affecting agriculture. A large number of trees are also being axed to make way for sand mining. Gopalakrishnaswamy says difficult days are not far away if all the sand is mined from the tanks, thus depriving the fields of water.

Deputy Commissioner D S Vishwanath says 80 per cent of the farmers were selling away land to sand miners, which is a disturbing trend.

The farmers should themselves understand the need to protect the environment, he said, adding cases may have to be registered against them, otherwise.

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