Delay in steps to extract sand condemned; stir in Udupi

Last Updated 22 October 2018, 19:28 IST

The district Construction Materials Transport Vehicles Owners and Drivers Association and other various organisations joined hands to protest against delay in the process of initiating measures to extract sand in the district.

The protesters urged the deputy commissioner to immediately approve the sand mining process.

A huge protest rally was organised wherein the agitators shouted slogans and demanded the transfer of deputy commissioner.

They also demanded that the deputy commissioner should come to the spot and issue permits for sand mining in the district.

Construction Materials Transport Vehicles Owners and Drivers Association Katpadi president Chandra Poojary accused the DC of failing to listen to the grievances of the labourers who are associated with the construction works.

He added that at least 4000 trucks and lorry drivers are jobless and struggling to eke out their living. Although the chief minister and district in-charge minister have instructed the deputy commissioner to, issue permits for sand extraction, the DC has not taken any initiatives.

He said that the district has been facing row over sand since 2013. However, the sand extraction has been stopped completely for the last one-and-half years. The DC should be held responsible for the all the difficulties.

Kundapur taluk panchayat former president Bhaskar Billava said the deputy commissioner should have taken necessary steps. Her arrogant behaviour has put all the employees and labourers associated with the sand mining and construction business in difficulties.

He said that public are fed up with the problem have decided to come to streets to protest. Several houses sanctioned under various government housing schemes have remained incomplete due to non availability of sand.

The sand trucks and lorries were parked in hundreds all over national highway that pass through the district, DC Office road, Manipal-Udupi stretch.

The agitators wanted to block the DC Office road by parking the lorries and trucks. However, the police prevented them from doing so by placing barricades.

The police have also stopped several lorries and trucks from participating in the protest.

Former parliamentarian Jayaprakash Hedge arrived at spot and held talks with the deputy commissioner.

DC Priyanka Mary Francis categorically stated that she is following the guidelines issued by the NGT.

She said she would not violate law and is acting accordingly.

She assured to hold talks with the state government and chief secretary to end the row over sand.

(Published 22 October 2018, 18:30 IST)

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