Second raid hits illegal sand mining hard

Miners call for legalisation of trade; cite difficulties in agriculture

Second raid hits illegal sand mining hard

Revenue Department personnel, headed by Devanahalli Tahsildar Dr N C Venkataraju on Sunday, raided illegal sand mining units for the second time in the past two weeks.

The raids began at 6:30 am and lasted until 1 pm. Using earth movers, the team destroyed all units and seized a pumpset used for mining operations.

Venkataraju recommended that the deputy commissioner acquire the two acres of land where illegal sand mining is taking place. “Following this, we will lodge complaints with police against those involved in mining,” he told Deccan Herald.

The raids were conducted at Devanahalli Road, Karahalli, Savakanahalli, Anighatta, Bidlur and Muddanayakanahalli. Revenue Department staff unearthed a large-scale illicit mining operation near Muddanayakanahalli village.

Here, the miners were using agricultural land for sand mining. The staff collected details of those involved from local residents and the village accountant.

“The residents said those who work at such units get 10 truck-loads of sand from each unit and that load earns them nearly Rs 15,000 a day,” the staff said.

‘Legalise mining’

Many of those involved in the illegal mining pleaded with the tahsildar to legalise it. Many claimed to have started mining following hardships in agriculture because of the drought. Many added that they purchased their trucks and tractors for farming purposes — on loan from banks — but had now been forced to use them for mining as a last resort. They added that illegal sand mining was not restricted to Devanahalli and claimed that it took place all over the State. Sand is in great demand because of large construction projects, both in the private and public sectors.

Illegal miners said the government had given permission for sand mining in Mysore, Hassan, Harihara and other places, but that the permissions had been withdrawn recently. They claimed that they were brining local police for sand mining. “Officers should identify certain land and recommend the State government to permit sand mining there,” they said.

Venkataraju said it was his duty to prevent the illegal sand mining as it was against the law. “We should keep resources for the next generation and the sand mining is not the only way to eke out a living whenever there is a drought,” he said.

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