Meeting soon to discuss uniform sand mining policy

Meeting soon to discuss uniform sand mining policy

The inappropriate handling of sand mining in the district which led to scarcity of sand dominated the tri monthly KDP meeting here on Wednesday.

District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj said the sand scarcity has been created artificially due to the administrative decision which enabled transporting of 50% of the sand to other districts. “The sand accumulated in the district should be made available for the users in the district first and then it should be supplied to other districts,” he added.
Elaborating on the meeting held to seek a uniform policy on sand mining in CRZ and non-CRZ areas, he said an action committee has been set up and a meeting would be held shortly. He demanded the data on the quantity of sand supplied to other districts.
Senior geologist Kodandaram said sand mining has been stopped as the stay order is not vacated.

The National Green Tribunal stayed sand mining in CRZ area on May 11. Nearly 10 lakh metric tonnes of sand was transported  to outside districts, he added.

Nominated member Umesh Nayak accused that lorry excavators are not punished, but the trucks carrying sand are seized and poor drivers are harassed.

Zilla panchayat member Babu Shetty said there are 23 clusters. However, not even a single cluster has been allotted to locals following the CRZ Act. The Traditional Sand Miners’ Association has been given support and the clusters are allotted based on their recommendations, he charged.

MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary said royalty to be given to the gram panchayats has not been offered. Nearly 17 gram panchayats should be offered Rs 10-12 lakh each. About Rs 2 crore should be released to Udupi district for the royalty, he said.

Madhwaraj said it is pointless to build the vented dams, if they fail to help farmers. Water users’ committee, which was supposed to be set up in the gram panchayats where vented dams are built, have not been set up, he said.

Shetty accused that about 50% of the vented dams in the district are in a deteriorating condition. Wooden planks are damaged. The contractors  are not yet paid.

The Minor Irrigation Department executive engineer said the district has 289 vented dams. Among them, 244 are under maintenance. The work of the remaining 45 vented dams would be completed by December. Out of 289, 46 are salt water exclusion dams, he added.

Karkala MLA V Sunil Kumar demanded details on the funds invested and Rs 120 lakh is being realised every year for the maintenance.

The minster said that the list of works taken up would be sent to the respective gram panchayats for clarification.

He added that an appeal would be made to the government, so that the maintenance amount should be released to users’ committees through gram panchayats.

The minister also instructed the zilla panchayat CEO to send the proposal seeking simplification of the rules aiding upgradation of the rural roads.

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