‘Sand extraction likely to resume within a week’

‘Sand extraction likely to resume within a week’

Udupi Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis said that the sand mining activities in the district will resume within a week after Karnataka Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) gave its approval to the proposal submitted by the district administration.

Francis told reporters on Friday that the National Green Tribunal’s guidelines will be adhered to, while extracting sand in Udupi. Nine sand blocks had been identified in CRZ areas this year as against 28 blocks identified a year ago. Last year, 6,08,610 metric tonnes of sand was extracted and Rs 3.65 crore was paid as royalty to the government.

She said that a new CRZ map had been drafted by an expert team set up by the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoEF) on September 27, 2018. The team had identified critical vulnerable areas in CRZ. The map forbids any sort of sand mining activities in entire Kundapur taluk, which also includes Baindoor, as it posed threat to fish breeding, coral reefs and marine bio-diversity. 

Many CRZ areas identified last year were dropped in the new CRZ map. Elaborating on the reasons for the delay in sand mining activities, the DC informed that at the first meeting held on August 8, the fishermen were asked to identify the sand blocks that posed threat for their fishing boats. MoEF’s regulations, dated June 9, 2011, allowed identification of sand bars posing a threat to the navigation of fishing vessels process. But the fishermen failed to submit details on sand blocks and later a committee was set up under assistant commissioner to identify the sand bars.

“The team submitted the report on September 27, and this report was handed over to NITK in Surathkal to whet the report. Four sand blocks had been identified in the non-CRZ area,” she said and added that the task force had been set up to inspect the illegal sand mining in the district.