Sand agitators call for Udupi bandh on Nov 10

Sand agitators call for Udupi bandh on Nov 10

MLA Raghupathi Bhat speaks to reporters in Manipal on Wednesday.

MLA Raghupathi Bhat on Wednesday warned the government and the district administration of declaring a district-wide bandh on November 10 if permission to mine sand was not given to all the 171 licence holders.

The MLA, elaborating on the future course of action, said they will give a district bandh call on November 10. He told reporters at a press meet outside the deputy commissioner's office that the construction works will resume only after the district administration gives consent to the mining of sand.

He urged H D Kumaraswamy to show responsibility and accountability for the ongoing sand crisis.

Bhat squarely held Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis responsible for all the ‘nuisance’. “The DC sent a letter to the state government on October 25 seeking clarification on permission to mine sand. Permission should be assigned to 92 traditional sand miners who are into the business prior to 2011. The state government immediately gave its approval to the deputy commissioner’s decision,” the legislator pointed out.

“The events took place on a single day. Although the DC spoke to the agitators on October 25, she did not divulge any details,” he charged. Bhat added that the additional deputy commissioner issued a notice on October 26 declaring that permission to sand mining would be given to the traditional sand miners who were engaged in the work of extracting sand prior to 2011.

The CRZ notification issued by the centre on November 8, 2011 insisted on forming a seven members’ committee.

Former MP Jayaprakash Hegde said that the issue will be raised with the Ministry of Environment and Forest and all the valid documents will be submitted. The authorities concerned will take a decision on whether sand miners who were into business prior to 2011 should be considered or all the 171 licence holders.

The Opposition leader in Legislative Council Kota Srinivas Poojary ridiculed the chief minister who had promised that the sand mining will be permitted from October 15 onwards. “The chief minister has failed to keep his words,” he said and insisted that chief minister find a solution to the sand crisis.

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