'Sand mafia rampant despite ban'

Members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Dalita Sangarsha Samithi staged a protest in front of the deputy commissioner’s office, citing several demands, here on Monday.

The protesters said that despite a sand policy in the State, illegal sand mining has continued unabated in the district. The sand mined in the district is being transported to Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The government must install CCTVs at checkpoints and other locations to track vehicles that transport sand to neighbouring States. Licenses of such lorries must be cancelled, they said.

The protesters urged the State government to ban the use of JCBs to extract sand from river beds and said that labourers must be employed to extract sand up to a meter into the river bed. In order to prevent middlemen supplying sand, e-tender process must be withdrawn and permits should be issued to local lorry drivers and labourers to extract and supply sand, they said.

Compensation

Mysore Urban Development Authority had acquired land in Rammanhalli, Hanchya, Satagalli, Yaandahalli, Lalithadripura, Nadahalli other villages twenty years ago. Farmers who had sold the land during the process, must be distributed additional compensation, as per the recent court order, they demanded.

Noting the indiscriminate encroachment of land in the district and alleging that officials of the Revenue department had colluded with the land mafia to facilitate encroachments, they demanded the State government to act against such officials. The protesters also alleged that several land documents have been forged by the officials to legalise such irregularities.

The protesters demanded the district administration to speed up the process of providing sites to 29 families, who have lost their land for the construction of Mandakalli Airport. Even though the district administration has taken steps to distribute sites, the local administration was delaying the process, they said.

They also urged the State government to distribute Rs 150 per tonne of sugarcane, as promised earlier.

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