Tahsildar cornered over rampant sand mafia in Hassan

Tahsildar cornered over rampant sand mafia in Hassan

Sakleshpur Tahsildar Nagesh had to face embarrassing moments over illegal sand transportation issue when officials concerned resorted to blame game at KDP (Karnataka Development Programme) progress review meeting, in Hassan, on Tuesday.

Like in the past, the discussion in the KDP progress review revolved around rampant sand mafia in the district and Diwakar of the Mines and Geology department explained about lorries seized, penalty collected and other details.

District In-charge Minister A Manju, who presided over the meeting, directed the authorities concerned to seize all the over-loaded lorries, along with sand. To this, Diwakar replied that the system was being followed. The minister immediately questioned that if the system was followed, what happened to the 62 lorry loads of sand that were seized in Sakleshpur recently?

Taken aback by the unexpected question, the officials passed the buck at other officials.

First, Diwakar said, the sand was handed over to the PWD. Krishnamurthy of the PWD said, it comes under their sub-division and inquired the assistant executive engineer, who clarified that the sand was not handed over to their department. Now, it was the turn of Tahsildar Nagesh to reply, and he did not have an answer. Nagesh said, the situation was very serious on the day and there were all possibilities of law and order problem. The Police personnel were not present due to Dattamale Abhiyan and there were only a couple of revenue officials. Hence, the officials levied a fine of Rs 10,000 per lorry and allowed them to pass, he added.

Though Nagesh said the issue was brought to the notice of the higher officials, additional superintendent of police and deputy commissioner replied in the negative. Irked over this, Manju directed the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) to take necessary action against Nagesh.

CID probe
MLA H K Kumaraswamy demanded a CID probe into the issue. While, the poor, who transport small amounts of sand in tractors are held and levied a fine of Rs 25,000, the lorries were allowed to go after paying only Rs 10,000 fine. He suspected a racket behind this and stressed for a CID probe.

MLA H D Revanna, who also spoke on the sand mafia issue, said the lorries which were overloaded were fined. But, there are no details on who was behind this and accused the officials of Police and Revenue departments of being hand in glove with the sand mafia. A comprehensive probe should be conducted, he demanded.

A meeting of all legislators, deputy commissioner, police department and others will be held on January 9, to discuss the distribution of sand, Manju said.