The squads will undertake surprise visits to sand ghats.

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed has said that stringent measures have been adopted to put an end to illegal sand mining and sale in the district.

Special squads comprising of representatives of revenue and police departments have been formed for the purpose. Besides, night time mining has also been banned.

The newly formed squads will undertake surprise visits to sand ghats and seize illegally mined sand and vehicles involved in it. Kothamangalam and Kochi taluks will have one squad each while Kunnathunadu, Aluva, Paravur, and Muvattupuzha taluks will have two squads each.

Officials of the rank of tahsildars will lead the squads.

The functioning of sand parks in the district has also been stopped in the wake of widespread complaints about their operation. However, permission will be granted for the sale of existing stocks in these parks. But to receive permission, the district geologist should certify that the existing stock is not river sand. Special squads will be deployed to check mining of sand in forest areas including Kuttampuzha, Kodanadu, and Malayattoor. In addition to squads at the level of tahsildars, two squads controlled by the Additional District Magistrate will also be deployed. Squads will have to submit fortnightly reports to the Collector through the Revenue Divisional Officer.

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