Demand for reining in illegal sand transport

District In-charge Minister K Abhayachandra Jain has said that a sand depot will be opened to distribute sand for government works and for the convenience of the public.

He spoke chairing the quarterly KDP meeting at the Zilla Panchayat Hall on Wednesday.
The minister was responding to a demand by several elected representatives – including Member of Legislative Council Motamma – to put a halt on the unlicensed transport of sand in the district.

Legislator B B Ningaiah suggested permitting the transport of sand from other districts, to Chikkamagaluru, in the backdrop of acute shortage of sand in the district. “Sand in being transported illegally from Mudigere to other places at night. The police, who try to stop the transporters are assaulted,” he complained.

A nominee member said that due to shortage of sand, the housing schemes of the government too had come to a standstill and grants were being returned.

Legislator G H Srinivas said that the problem of sand shortage was serious at Tarikere and Kadur, as there were no rivers there. “Earlier, sand was brought in from Shivamogga and Bhadravathi. Now, however, the supply has stopped,” said the MLA, and, supported by MLC Gayatri Shanthegowda, urged the district administration to distribute sand.
Arekoodige Shivanna complained that several Police Department staff members were hand-in-glove with the transporters of sand.

Legislator N D Jeevaraj said that cases were being registered for purchase of sand from Mangaluru.

Reason
Superintendent of Police P K Santhosh Babu clarified that the cases were registered mainly because the sand from Mangaluru contained higher level of salt and was likely to affect the quality of construction. The cases were not filed against transport of sand meant for Ashraya houses, but if five to six truck loads of sand were found being fetched for a single house, the cases will be registered, he warned.

Zilla Panchayat member Shivanna complained that a sand yard and a gravel stone crusher have remained defunct in Mudigere taluk. “Also, the Forest Department has denied a No-objection Certificate,” he added.

The Mudigere forest conservator said that the objection was posed in the wake of water pollution and that issuing an NOC required permission from the Pollution Control Board.
Ningaiah and ZP member Shivanna called the officer’s claim false. “No spot inspection has been conducted yet. As many as 200 families are carrying out quarrying work and have lost their source of livelihood,” they said and demanded that the families be given permission to carry out quarrying.

Motamma pointed out that the land records of 11 people had been tampered with at the Mudigere tahsildar office and the names of several organisations had overlapped. The land records of Dalits have been vanishing, she added.

Ningaiah said that an eight-acre land belonging to a person in Anoor village has been mentioned in a different land record. “The officials are not paying attention to the plight of the poor,” he said.

Zilla Panchayat president Kavitha Belliprakash, member Vishala Thippesh, Kukkudike Ravindra, Deputy Commissioner Shadakshariswamy and Chief Executive Officer Ragapriya were present among others.

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