Ban has no effect on sand mining

Ban has no effect on sand mining

Illegal transport of sand from dried-up tank beds goes on unabated

Ban has no effect on sand mining

In the wake of illegal sand mining rampant in the State despite the ban, the Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in Belgaum session has recently promised to form a new sand policy to curb it.

The CM has told that there are loopholes in the present sand policy. Though strict action is taken against people indulging in it, unlicensed sand mining continues rampant at tank and lake beds and hilly areas in the district.

Depletion of water level

The State government had put a ban on sand mining in the district considering the depletion of ground water level.

The district administration also had taken action accordingly. But, some persons have not yet come under the clutches of law and are mining sand rampantly in Chikkaballapur and Bagepalli, especially where lakes have dried up.

This sand is being loaded on lorries, tractors and is sold at high prices, say residents.

Illegal sand mining is rampant at historically acclaimed Ranghastala lake bed in Chikkaballapur and lake at Devareddypalya in Bagepalli. Both the lakes have dried up and it is easy to cull out sand.

“Though sand is being mined so much in our presence, we are not in a position to anything. No action is taken against them”, rue Sosepalya residents.

“They try not to come under scanner from the police or district administration. So, their illegal work begins early in the morning at around 4 am. They just land at a place on lake bed and cull out sand. They fill as many lorries and tractors with loads on sand and take it to some place and store it near eucalyptus grove nearby.

Noting their time of arrival, the buyers keep their lorries ready to fill the sand and to transport it,” alleges Narasimhamurthy from Sosepalya.

Sand price

“Rate of the sand was not so high before banning it. Now, the rates have doubled. Each tractor of sand costs Rs 2,500 to 2,800. One load of sand from a lorry costs Rs 8,000 to 10,000.

People who indulge in mining sand illegally even fill it in bullock carts and sell it. Whenever the issue comes up at zilla panchayat progress review meet, officers reply that action has been taken against the persons involved in it. But in reality, there is no check on illegal sand mining and transporting,” he added.

Expressing anger over inaction of officials, Lakshminarayan, a resident of Bagepalli said that, “Some months ago, in the outskirts of Bagepalli,  a heap of sand fell on a couple who were digging the sand, and they died on the spot. We do not know if they were given compensation. But for sure, no action was taken and sand mining is continued there without any problems”.

“Recently, protests were held demanding implementation of permanent irrigation system. Everyone demanded for supplying water to tanks and lakes. But sadly, none spoke of conserving them,” he added.