Sand ghats engaged in illegal sand mining should be closed down forthwith, District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed has instructed the officials concerned.
Operation of all 54 sand ghats, spread over three municipalities and 18 grama panchayats in the district, will be closely monitored by the district administration. In the order issued to tahsildars, the Collector had asked to ensure transparency and fairness in sand distribution.
Sand parks in Angamaly and Perumbavoor municipalities and in the nearby panchayats have been banned in the wake of complaints over their functioning. Sand already stored in these parks would be allowed to be sold off subjected to certification by the geologist that it is not river sand. The geologist's report will be based on a joint examination by the village officer, assistant geologist, and assistant engineer, irrigation.
Special squads formed at the taluk level by dividing the district into city and rural limits, and led by senior police and revenue officials, are set to inspect sand ghats and parks and keep a tab on night time sand mining. Stringent action will be taken based on these inspections.Meanwhile, the flash-inspection squads authorized to ensure that sand mining at the ghats was legal had started making rounds. The squads are composed of Revenue and police officials. Collector said the assistance of Forest department had been sought to stop illegal sand mining in the forest areas in Kodanadu and Malayattoor. Special inspections will be carried out during Sundays and other holidays.
Keywords: illegal sand mining