Sand mining going on unabated in Mudigere

Sand mining going on unabated in Mudigere

 Illegal sand mining on Hemavathi river-bed.  dh photo Mines and Geology department has identified 26 spots in the taluk where mining operation will be auctioned.

According to the High Court order mining and other such activities are banned in the area of 100 metres from the river bed.  The right of auctioning lies in the hands of respective Gram Panchayats and the Mines and Geology Department will have to pay the royalty to the Government as well as the Panchayat. The Department was ready to hold auction in Hireshigara, Jenubail, Halekote, Kittalegandi, Kolur etc and as many as 468 applications were received from contractors. However, the auction was postponed due to technical reasons.

Raitha Sangha has been opposing the proposed auction procedure and has said that though illegal mining in large scale has been going on blatantly the officials are booking case against local people who come to take sand from the river bed for various purpose in small quantity. Local residents informed that illegal sand mining goes on in the night and heavy equipment along with JCBs, lorries etc. The sand thus extracted is transported to Bangalore, Mysore, Hassan, Shimoga and other places. They say that the contractors pay some nominal amount to the GPs and take loads of sand in several lorries and make profits in lakhs. The locals allege the elected representatives of supporting the sand mining mafia.

However, the locals are now banking their hopes on the statement of MLA Kumaraswamy who has taken up the cause of protecting the environment by fighting against sand mining.

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