Zilla Panchayat members seek solution for sand crisis

Zilla Panchayat members seek solution for sand crisis

Zilla Panchayat members have demanded immediate solution for the ongoing sand crisis and held the district administration responsible and accountable for the crisis.

Raising the issue at the Zilla Panchayat’s general body meeting held here on Thursday, Byndoor MLA Gopal Poojary said the district administration has failed to negotiate with the government for a separate sand policy for the coastal districts.

“The chief minister who has assured us of a separate sand policy has also announced that all legal implications will be sorted out if need arises,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis said the complications in the process of sand extraction in CRZ area will be sorted out after the rainy season as the district administration has furnished all the information as directed by the National Green Tribunal in Chennai to vacate the stay order. The verdict has pointed out the loopholes in the process of discharging the duties from administrative side, which is being set right, the DC said.

Member Reshma Uday Kumar Shetty alleged that only poor people who transport sand for genuine purpose are penalised. Member Prathap Hegde Marali said the sand problem is haunting the district since one-and-a-half years, but no solution has been found. Another member Babu Shetty said the sand, instead of being transported from the district to other districts, is now available from other districts in black market.

Member Uday Kotian said the wild animal menace has not been controlled in Bailur-Karkala and Neerejanguli area. The deers and peacocks have been damaging the crops. The reserve forest in the area has not been fenced and hence, the wild animals get into the roads and cause accidents. Also, the plantation crops are destroyed by wild monkeys, he said.

The assistant conservator of forests (ACF) said a proposal has been sent to the higher authorities to fence the area. The compensation package has been doubled for the victims and for the crops destroyed by the wild animals, he added.

The DC said a survey of the area, where the wild life issues exist, should be carried out. Plantations and fruits crops should be planted in the area bordering forest, as animals without food have been venturing into the human habitat.

Babu Shetty said the breach in the Varahi irrigation canal, around 26 km from left bank canal at Molahalli, has resulted in major crop damage. The compensation of Rs 27,864 is meagre, Shetty said. The contractors should be blacklisted as the farm fields in the area are filled with sultry mud.

Cultivation is not possible in these fields and the mud has not been removed from the fields and two wells have been buried due to the flow of water and sultry clay. However, no action has been taken in this regard, Shetty said.

The DC said she will take disciplinary action against the contactors. The Varahi engineering department should furnish a detailed report within a week and the compensation amount should be increased, she said.

The members raised a hue and cry over the funds not released for the Basava Vasathi Yojane, despite the beneficiaries submitting all required formalities.

The zilla panchayat deputy secretary said the tax collection henceforth will be based on the value of the asset. A sum of Rs 14.70 crore has been collected, marking 81% achievement while Rs 3.43 crore is pending for collection, the deputy secretary said.