Sand shortage: CM sets Oct 15 deadline

Sand shortage: CM sets Oct 15 deadline

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has set October 15 as the deadline to address severe shortage of sand that coastal districts are facing.

Norms under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) have made extraction of sand difficult. The government’s effort to make sand available in the non-CRZ areas have been futile, resulting in shortage of sand for construction activities.

Kumaraswamy, who held talks with legislators from the coastal region, directed officials to get to work immediately and find a way out.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Kota Srinivas Poojary of the BJP said it was imminent for the government to frame a sand policy for Mangaluru and Udupi districts. “There are 120 traditional sand miners in Mangaluru and 130 in Udupi. They should be allowed to extract sand,” he said.

Legislators demanded that rules be relaxed to allow traditional miners to extract sand on a lease basis. Kumaraswamy directed officials to explore if this could be done. Legislators also pointed out that the cost of one truck-load of sand had peaked to Rs 25,000-30,000, making it unaffordable for citizens.

Mangaluru district in-charge minister U T Khader told reporters that the chief minister had assured redressal of the problem before October 15. “We’re confident that the rules will be relaxed to help ease the situation.”

Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja, Byndoor MLA B M Sukumar Shetty, Karkala MLA V Sunil Kumar, Sullia MLA Angara S, among others, were present.