Row over sand: Indefinite protest begins in Udupi

Row over sand: Indefinite protest begins in Udupi

The indefinite protest against the district administration for not ensuring regular of sand was launched by Sarva Sanghtanegala Maraligagi Horata Samiti in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Manipal on Monday.

Representatives from political parties, District Builders’ Association, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, District Engineers Association and other organisations are taking part in the protest.

Speaking on the occasion, MLA Raghupathi Bhat demanded that the sand extraction permission should be given to all 170 licence holders. The Union government has already approved it and has sent the approval letter to the state government on January 14, instructing the deputy commissioner to allow the permission to all 170 license holders, he added. 

He charged that the deputy commissioner has failed to take initiatives as she has not called for a meeting of the seven-member committee. She has also failed to take permission from Karnataka State Coastal Zone Maintenance Authority, he alleged.

Bhat said that the permission has been given only to 26 licence holders currently.

The district administration’s decision to deploy only 26 into business has made the sand price too high which costs Rs 15,000 for three units. The earlier identified 17,000 tonnes of sand is extracted and again the process of issuing licence should commence, he said. 

JD(S) leader Sablaya Manjaiah Shetty alleged that the district administration is least concerned about the sufferings by the poor and is arrogant in its approach towards solving the sand issue.

Karkala MLA Sunil Kumar said that the protest will continue till the deputy commissioner issues permission for all 170 licence holders.

Opposition leader in the Legislative Council Kota Srinivas Poojary said a representation will be submitted to the minister for mines if he visits
Udupi. But the fight will continue till the justice is done, he said.  

Congress leader Deviprasad Shetty said that the poor are suffering and are not able to construct the houses.