Illegal sand mining thriving on river banks, say villagers

Ilegal sand extraction business is thriving unabated on the banks of rivers Nethravathi and Kumaradhara, villagers have charged. 

This surely does not require any proof because everyone is well aware of the ongoing sand mining on the river banks here. Hundreds of loads of sand are being transported illegally without any permit to the state capital and Kerala, they claimed.
 
The unabated illegal sand mining on a one-kilometre stretch from the banks of the river at Ampa Valacchil in Ilanthila village has taken a toll on the river.

More than 20 labourers from Uttar Pradesh are engaged in extracting sand from the river at night by constructing sheds on the banks of river. The trucks ferry the extracted sand in the wee hours.

It is said that sand is being transported in two stages. In the first phase, trucks laden with sand is transported to Bengaluru. In the second stage, the filtered sand is packed in plastic carry bags and are transported illegally in vegetable-laden lorries to Kerala.

With the illegal sand mining thriving in the region, huge pits have been created on the banks of rivers. The pits pose a threat to the lives of people who cross the river to reach their villages during the peak summer. The removal of sand banks from the upstream areas has the potential to divert water flow in the river and affect groundwater retention capacity. The extensive sand mining also depletes the groundwater table and affects the stability of river banks, a water expert said. 

The villagers said the revenue officials have remained mute spectators despite getting complaints on illegal sand extraction.
 

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