Don't want sand mining task: PWD

Tells govt , it has other duties, staff shortage

The Public Works Department has requested the State government to relieve it from the responsibility of sand mining citing staff shortage and pressure of other work.

According to T Venkatachala, Executive Engineer, PWD, the government had been requested to divest the department of the task of mining and supplying sand since it had been burdened with other responsibilities.

The PWD had been unable to check filter sand mafia for lack of adequate personnel. The existing set-up is running out of time in performing other duties - construction of buildings, laying and maintaining roads and carrying out other sundry repair works.
Identifying sand blocks, inviting tenders for mining sand and sale of sand require men and time, which the department is short of.

“We are fed up of other departments in the sand monitoring committee pointing fingers at PWD every time the issue of illegal sand mining surfaces. We are in two minds as to whether to discharge our other duties or to engage ourselves in mining and selling sand,” Venkatachala said.

With the PWD seeking to wash its hands of the responsibility, it is likely that the district administration may continue the sale of sand through the sand monitoring committee.
Rs two crore revenue

The Department has earned a revenue of Rs 2.07 crore from sand mining carried out from November 19, 2011 to January 6, 2012.

A sum of Rs 28.57 lakh has been earned from the sand mining conducted by the department directly, Rs 1.78 crore has been raked in from mining conducted through the contractors. Sand has been sold at the rate of Rs 600 a cubic metre. While the PWD has extracted 4551.25 cubic metre of sand, the contractors have mined 29.80 cubic metre, Venkatachala told Deccan Herald. He said illegal sand mining could be checked effectively through a separate task force instead of the present monitoring committee. He said task forces should be constituted at taluk-levels and entrusted with the responsibility of curbing illegal sand mining.

New sand blocks

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner has directed the Public Works Department and Mines and Geology Department to identify new sand blocks. As many as 20 sand blocks were identified on the banks of Muduvadi tank in Kolar taluk, Bytanur, Upparahalli, Nagavara, Nangali, Mustur tank in Mulbagal taluk, Toralakke in Malur taluk, Gopenahalli, Tongalukoppa-Tatapalli in Bangarpet taluk. But officials said by the time they identified some more blocks, the sand deposit had vanished. There are also instances of no one responding to the tender called by the Public Works Department for mining sand.

Checkposts

The district sand monitoring committee has given its approval for setting up nine checkposts across the district. Checkposts have been set up near Narasimhateertha in Mulbagal taluk, Gownipalli in Srinivaspur talu and one near Aladamara in Bangarpet.

Checkposts are to be set up at the following places: Srinivaspur toll gate in Kolar; Tekal and Rajenahalli in Malur; Kangondanahalli in Bangarpet and near the old toll gate on National Highway-4 near Mulbagal.

Five more locations have been identified to instal checkposts - Yalavahalli cross on Mulbagal-Punganur road; K Byappalli, Uttanur-Hanumanahalli route, Uttanur village, Kuppam Road in Andersonpet and Kyasamballi village.

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