Instead of dredging silt, sand is mined at Thumbe

Deputy Commissioner pays surprise visit to vented dam

Instead of dredging silt, sand is mined at Thumbe

As against the order of Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim to remove silt in and around the jackwell at Thumbe vented dam, the officials have allowed mining of sand at the dam.

The incident came to light when deputy commissioner paid a surprise visit to the spot on Monday.

It was decided at a meeting convened on May 5, under the chairmanship of District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai to discuss on drinking water crisis in Mangaluru, to desilt the area around the jackwell.

The move was mean to ensure that the available water in the dam reaches the jackwell and could be pumped to supply to the citizens of Mangaluru – even if the water-level reached 4 feet in the dam. Accordingly, the dredging of silt had commenced on Saturday morning.

It has come to light now, that, in the name of silt, the sand filled inside the dam is being mined. The sand has been dumped inside the pump house premises. Five tipper lorries and three earthmovers were at the spot. The sand was also loaded in a few lorries for transportation.

The deputy commissioner had ordered desilting till 10-metre radius of the jackwell. Even three days after commencement of dredging, the silt around the jackwell was not removed – instead, only the sand inside the dam was removed.

The contractor, who was entrusted with the responsibility of dredging, was found using two dredging machines to engage in removing sand far from the jackwell.

Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim, who reacted to the situation, told Deccan Herald, “I have directed MCC Commissioner Dr H N Gopalakrishna to initiate action against the officials who had identified the site for removing the sand instead of silt. The removal of sand might result in drying of water, thus aggravating the situation in the city.”

Referring to the transport of sand from the dam, he said, “I have ordered to send back the lorries and earthmovers from the spot. The officials have been instructed to ensure that sand dumped is not transported and maintained in tact. If sand is transported outside the pump house, then stringent action will be initiated against the officials.”

Reacting to the mining of sand, Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Dr H N Gopalakrishna said, “The deputy commissioner has told me that sand is being removed illegally from the Thumbe vented dam. I have written to the PWD and the Department of Mines and Geology to measure the quantity of sand dumped on the pump house premises.”

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