'DC empowered to curb sand mining'

Speaking at the meeting of Task Force on Prevention of Illegal Sand Mining and Transportation at Deputy Commissioner’s officer here on Saturday, minister said that there was immediate need curb illegal sand transportation with the help and co-operation of all the departments.

“The officials should not buckle under pressure even from ministers while handling transportation cases. At no cost should even a single lorry carrying sand should cross the district borders,” Khan advised officials.

“Why hasn’t the administration able to curb sand transportation when there is a complete ban on it in the district,” Khan questioned the officials.Recalling a grave incident Khan said that four people had lost their lives when a sand hill caved in while they were mining at Timmanahalli in Shidlaghatta taluk, a few days ago. “Incidents like these should never recur in future,” he warned officials.
Contradiction

Mumtaz Ali Khan was irked when Deputy Commissioner Anwar Pasha and Additional Deputy Commissioner G S Nayak made contradictory statements in the meeting.
Deputy Commissioner Anwar Pasha said that sand transportation had been completely banned in the district. However, Additional Deputy Commissioner G S Nayak said that there was no scope under law for complete ban of sand mining.
Miffed by the statements, Khan rebuked the officers and questioned how they would stop sand transportation in the district in such confusion. “The officers should first acquaint themselves with the law. However they should not let sand transportation thrive in the district,” he added.

Chintamani DySP Govindaiah said police did not have direct power to action against the sand transporters. Action can only be taken if complaint is lodged by the officials of Revenue, Mine and Geology Departments or by presidents or secretaries of GPs. However, no such complaints have been lodged, he added.
Govindaiah said that police department was prepared to establish check post at the borders of every taluk with posting of two policemen.

The police department on its own has taken action against illegal sand transporters, noted Govindaiah, who said that 238 lorries had been seized in the district and Rs 20 lakh collected in the form of fine. The Additional Commissioner has considered illegal sand transportation as theft and has empowered the police to arrest the lorry owners and drivers. Sand mining is banned even in private property. The land of the violators will be confiscated, he said.

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