Udupi dist admn on high alert against illegal sand mining

Udupi dist admn on high alert against illegal sand mining

The sand mining issue has been posing a huge threat in the district and continues to exist even after the district administration started stringent measures to curb the irregularity.

Deputy Commissioner Muddu Mohan told Deccan Herald that illegal sand mining is totally under control with strict action taken up by the regulatory authority.

He added that around Rs 4 to Rs 5 lakh was collected as fine and FIR were charged against those who violated the norms.

Though the DC admitted that he cannot claim illegal sand mining is under control, it is curbed to the maximum extent.

The problem can be overcome, once the order for compulsory environment clearance certificate for the quarrying unit was strictly implemented.

He said almost all the sand mining activities in the district are manual sand mining. Attempts are made to reach out to the main accused who is involved in illegal sand transport activties in each case.

A separate proposal for sand mining in coastal districts was prepared in 2010 under the leadership of former BJP minister late Dr V S Acharya.

The officials from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts took part in the meeting. However, the government did not approve the proposal as it was designed exclusively for the coastal districts only.

Govt gets `10.35 lakh as fine.

District Mines and Geology Department senior geologist Niranjan told that attempts are being made to curb illegal sand mining in the district.

Following the parliamentary polls, as many as 19 lorries were seized and Rs 4.10 lakh penalty was collected.

A FIR was also registered in connection with sand mining.

He said as many as 21 illegal quarries were identified and penalized. Rs 6.25 lakh was collected in the form of fine from the illegal quarry owners.

The lorries are let off, once the sand is unloaded and fines are paid.

He said that actions are taken against the lorry owners who engage drivers for illegal sand transport.

But most of the times, the owners give a slip.

Usually, the lorry drivers decline to give information about the places where they have loaded the sand and for whom they are working.

They do not provide proper documents also.

In case if they provide the information of the persons who engages them in the work, there is no laxity in serving notices and fine collecting from them, the geologist claimed.

The district administration has sought the help of other departments too to control the illegal sand mining activities.

The Forest department, along with police department, Gram Panchayaths, revenue department is roped in to keep a sharp eye on the illegal mining.

The RFO level officer in forest department, SI in police department, PDOs in Gram Panchayaths, revenue Inspector in revenue department are entitled to avail the powers to take action against illegal sand mining.

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