A team conducts raid in Handady, Uppinakote, Uppoor, Barkur, Puttur, and Santhekatte villages

Illegal sand mining in areas under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) is posing a major headache to the authorities in the district.

The areas are in the villages of Hoode, Kemmannu, Udyavara, Handady, Uppinakote, Uppoor, Varamballi, Benekudru, Nagaramatha, Kundapur, Anagally, Herikudru, Tallur, Hemmady, Hattiangady, Senapura, and Manipura.

According to an estimate, 90 per cent of the sand was available in these areas , while the rest in the non-CRZ areas of the district.

Geologist and in-charge of the Department of Mines and Geology Lata Kulkarni told The Hindu on Thursday that mechanised sand mining was prohibited in the coastal region. Sand mining was prohibited in the areas under CRZ. Only manual sand mining was permitted in non-CRZ areas. According to government rules, sand mining could be done in non-CRZ areas only till September 15, she said.

A team of officials from the departments of Revenue, CRZ, Mines and Geology, and the Police had been conducting raids at CRZ areas, where illegal mining was on. The Department of Mines and Geology collected fines amounting to Rs. 8.68 lakh this year from the offenders. According to Udupi tahsildar V. Prasanna, the team had demolished 13 sheds on Thursday.

Ms. Kulkarni said that people from villages where illegal sand mining was going on had complained of damaged roads due to the movement trucks carrying sand.

Sangha's reaction

President of the Udupi Zilla Hoige Doni Malikara Sangha Sudhakar D. Amin said that the sangha was lobbying with the Union and the State Government to permit traditional manual sand mining in CRZ areas in the coastal districts. “If sand mining is stopped, development activities would come to a standstill and render many people jobless,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju said cases would be slapped against those using machinery for sand mining in CRZ areas. ources in the district administration said that the Department of Mines and Geology had stopped illegal sand mining in CRZ areas a fortnight ago, but was forced to rescind owing to political pressure.

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