Department move an eye wash against illegal sand transportation

The stringent laws have only remained in books as illegal sand transportation is carried out unabated in Mudigere taluk and sand is being mined from the banks of Hemavathi River, using advanced machineries.

The banks of Hemavathi River is stretched across Banakal, Chakkamakki, Baggasagod, Phalguni, Sabbinahalli, Horatti, Mugrahalli, Kitlegandi, Daradahalli, Kadidal, Kesavalalu, Anajur, Hanthur Angadi, Bettada Mane, G Agrahara and Donigodu villages.

The sand is being extracted in these places during the nights and the people complain that though the department is informed about sand mining, it has kept mum over the issue. The sand mining is carried out to such an extent that some illegal transporters are even making their ways through paddy fields, to take a shortcut for the river banks for illegal sand transportation.

The major quantity of the sand is being transported to Chikmagalur, Hassan, Madikeri, Mandya and Bangalore. It is learnt that the sand is being sold for high rates in these places.

Though there is a ban on extracting sand using modern equipment, the rule is flouted and the persons involved in the illegal business are renting the JCB machines on hourly basis to extract sand. It could be recalled that a JCB was seized in Gonibeedu recently, related to illegal extraction of sand.

As the daily wage workers who work in the illegal sand extraction areas, are paid a huge amount, there is a dearth of people for agriculture related works.Due to unabated transportation, the condition of roads has turned worse, with innumerous potholes.

The people residing near river banks are fed up with the sand mining work, which causes a lot of disturbance during nights. In spite of being several sand check posts, they remain closed round the clock, making the job of illegal sand transporters easy. Though a number of vehicles have been seized in this regard so far, surprisingly, none of the illegal transporters have been imposed fine and no cases have been registered, which points fingers towards the official concerned.

The public feel that the river basins face a serious threat due to excessive sand extraction and there is a need to control the illegal business to save the natural resources.

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