Meeting today to discuss sand row

Minister for Urban Development and Housing U T Khader said that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has convened a meeting in Bengaluru on Monday to discuss on the row over the shortage of sand in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.

Speaking to reporters here on Sunday, he said that the meeting will be attended by the deputy commissioners of coastal districts along with the district in-charge ministers.

He said that the issue of relaxing norms for taking up sand extraction in non CRZ areas will be discussed in the meeting. Owing to a few conditions, the response to take up sand extraction has been poor in DK. Noting that the ban on extraction of sand in Kerala is responsible for illegal extraction and transportation of sand in Karnataka, the minister said, “I had raised the issue in the cabinet meeting held recently and had demanded that sand is made available to Kerala in order to solve the problem back in Karnataka.”

Accordingly, the government has given in-principle approval to sell imported sand outside Karnataka. The sand imported through New Mangalore Port can be taken to Kerala in goods trains or GPS enabled trucks to ensure that sand is available in Kerala, said Khader. He promised all basic facilities for Mangaluru Dasara.

To a query on the drastic dip in water level in rivers in Karnataka in spite of the state experiencing bountiful rainfall, Khader said that he has already discussed the issue with the chief minister, who in turn agreed to constitute an expert committee to look into the phenomenon.

The chief minister has directed the chief secretary to constitute a committee of experts after holding talks with the respective deputy commissioners, he added.

'Government is stable'

Minister for Urban Development and Housing U T Khader reiterated that the coalition government in Karnataka is stable. The opposition BJP, being unable to digest the welfare programmes initiated by the government, is trying to destabilise the government. The coalition government has effectively handled the natural calamities in Kodagu. Instead of providing suggestions to the government, the BJP is trying to lure MLAs in order to come to power. The move to destabilise the government reflects the political culture of the BJP. “They will not be successful in their move,” he said.

Replying to a query, Khader said that if the MLAs were disappointed, they can tender their resignation to the speaker in Bengaluru instead of visiting resorts in Hyderabad or Chennai.

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Meeting today to discuss sand row

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