Illegal sand mining continues unabated in Huvinahadagali

Illegal sand mining continues unabated in Huvinahadagali

The persons from Mundaragi taluk in Gadag district, across the district border, are mining and transporting the sand illegally in broad daylight from Tungabhadra river, near Honnayakanahalli in Huvinahadagali taluk.  

They have increased the illegal sand mining since a majority of the officials have been posted on election duty. They are literally disembowelling the river using earth-moving machines and taking away the sand with no one to stop them.

One can see these nefarious activities taking place after entering the Tungabhadra river near Honnayakanahalli. The illegal sand miners are operating from the Sheeranahalli bank in Mundaragi taluk. Moreover, they have constructed a temporary road on the river bed itself to enable them to transport the sand easily. They have dug up deep pits on the river bed, throwing all caution and the rules to the wind, and have changed the very shape and appearance of the river.

Though the sand mining has not been put to an end completely on this side of the Tungabhadra river (right bank), it has been on the decline due to the curbs imposed.

When acting on a tip-off by the residents of  Honnayakanahalli, Hadagali Police station PSI Siddarameshwar raided the place along with other police personnel, the illegal sand miners managed to escape along with the earth-moving machines and tippers.

The villagers stated that the illegal sand miners are using the vehicles whose number plates, both on the front and behind, have been defaced, and the earth-moving machines without any number plates. "When asked, they state that the sand blocks had been allotted to them through a tender process, and they are transporting the sand to a stockyard located near Singataluru," informed villagers.  

The Supreme Court's green bench has banned the use of machines for sand mining on the river beds. The government has formulated rules following the directions from the bench to ensure that the water sources are not contaminated. Despite the illegal sand miners changing the shape of the river, the officials are acting blind and taking no action at all, they said.

They demanded that the officials should take immediate steps to identify the Gadag-Ballari border clearly and put an end to the illegal sand mining. Moreover, steps should also be taken to make the sand available to the common people at affordable price.

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