10-day deadline for installing the equipment

The Minister in charge of Dakshina Kannada, J. Krishna Palemar, said on Monday that lorries transporting sand from the district to other districts would have to fix global positioning system equipment within 10 days.

It was aimed at keeping a tab on the movement of such lorries as there were complaints that sand was being transported illegally to Kerala. Lorries that fail to install the GPS within the deadline would be seized.

Licences of sand extractors would be cancelled if they load sand on trucks without the equipment, Mr. Palemar said.

The Minister was presiding over a meeting to review the progress of development works in the district. Earlier, U.T. Khader and B. Ramanath Rai, MLAs, alleged that the State Government had failed to curb illegal transportation of sand to Kerala. They said that the State had allowed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to procure sand from Mangalore for its upcoming unit in Kerala. Using this opportunity, many contractors were transporting sand to Kerala on the pretext that it was meant for ISRO.

Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj said that the district had 25 “escape routes” on border areas. It was not possible to set up 25 check-posts and deploy officials there as it needed at least 150 additional staff to work on three shifts. At present, a check-post had been set up at Talapady. “Most of the sand transporters are criminal elements,” Mr. Ponnuraj said. Some such elements had attacked three district-level officers posted at Talapady sometime ago, he said.

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