Sand mining: 'District administration has failed to maintain policy'

 MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary said that district administration has utterly failed to maintain the effective sand mining policy in the district.

Speaking to the mediapersons, the MLC said the sand mining policy is totally confusing and has led to acute shortage of sand in the district. He said that the license issued for the sand miners ended on January 22, and since then, the district administration has not taken measures to renew mining license of the license holders. The sand mining activities in CRZ and non-CRZ area is totally confusing and has brought in several problems. The labourers involved in sand mining activities are being harassed.

Poojary said he had visited Basrur and Kandlur, where the dwellings of the labourers have been destroyed using earth mover. This is due to the reason that they have continued living in the area even after the validity of the sand license is over.

The MLC said there is no proper coordination between Revenue department and Mines and Geology department. There are 18 sand blocks in the CRZ area and it should be renewed. He questioned that who has to take up the responsibility of renewing the license. There are 11 blocks identified in non-CRZ area, for which tender has been recently called as per the officials.

He said nearly 200-300 loads of sand is extracted everyday in the district, which accounts to 2,000 to 3,000 tonne with nearly 1,500 labourers involved in the process. He said the rains are expected in another three months. The construction works should be forcibly stopped, he urged. The national highway construction is going on, which already in the bad shape. There are many houses pending for completion, Poojary said.

The MLA said that for the year 2015-16, nearly 9,70,000 metric tonne of sand has been extracted and nearly Rs six crore of tax has been paid to the government. He said corruption is playing a major role. He also accused that the 20 per cent of the total collection should be given to the local GPs. However, the local rural bodies are not paid single rupee and Rs 1.15 crore is pending, he noted. Each GP is authorized to receive Rs 8 - 10 lakh. He demanded that the GPs should be given the pending amount immediately.
He said the sand policy should be simplified and measures should be taken to ensure sand at affordable price. He said the district in-charge minister should take up the issue immediately to find the solution.

The MLC said the issue would be raised in the Legislative Council session which is scheduled to begin on February 29. If the district administration fails to take measures to clear the chaos, the BJP would take massive protest in front of DC Office Complex by next week, he warned. The MLC also said the present TP and ZP election results will prove beneficial to BJP in the next assembly election. It would surely play a decisive role in bringing BJP back to power in the State, he added.

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