MLC Ivan D’Souza has said that Mines and Geology Minister Rajashekhar Patil has assured of sorting out the sand shortage issue before January 12.
He was addressing reporters at the District Congress Committee office in the city on Sunday.
D’Souza said, “At a recent meeting chaired by Patil in Bengaluru, it was decided to allocate the non-allocated sand bars in the non-CRZ areas to gram panchayats and government agencies like Nirmiti Kendra and the PWD so that sand could be extracted and utilised for housing schemes. The decision was taken in the presence of the district in-charge ministers of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Pratapchandra Shetty, chairman of the Legislative Council.”
The MLC added that Rajashekhar Patil has promised to visit Dakshina Kannada in the near future.
“Of the 22 sand bars in Dakshina Kannada, 12 were allocated and 10 remained non-allocated. Due to this move, there was a shortage of sand supply. The cost of sand per load too doubled, from
Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. Currently, there is demand for sand, but no supply,” he explained.
D’Souza further said that during the Legislative Council session, he had raised the issue of sand shortage under Rule 330 and the matter was
subjected to a detailed discussion.
D’Souza declared that he would observe a hunger stir in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue near Town Hall from 10 am to 5 pm on January 8, in protest of the merger of Vijaya Bank with the Bank of Baroda. He said he would also stage a dharna in front of the Vijaya Bank regional branch at
Dr B R Ambedkar Circle in Mangaluru on January 10.
“The decision to merge the banks has hurt the pride of the people of Dakshina Kannada, as Vijaya Bank originated here,” said the MLC.
He further said that the chief minister has written to the Union finance minister to reconsider the decision to merge Vijaya Bank and Bank of Baroda. “If the Central government does not change its decision, however, statewide protests will be held,” D’Souza warned.
Vijaya Bank has good rural presence. The bank has only 4% non-performing assets. Established in 1931, the bank now has 79 branches in Dakshina Kannada and 63 in Udupi, among the 583 branches in Karnataka and 2,129 all over the country.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not spoken a word about the Rafale deal so far, although heated debates on the issue are being carried out in the Parliament. Modi should speak in public regarding the deal,” challenged D’Souza.
The MLC, meanwhile, alleged that the NDA-led Central government is only concerned about the welfare of the corporate world. D’Souza also disbursed a total of Rs 20 lakh as medical assistance to 31 beneficiaries on the occasion. The assistance was sanctioned on the recommendation of D’Souza from the chief minister’s relief fund, he said.