Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj on Saturday said that the district administration had been able to control the illegal transportation of sand only to an extent.

Speaking at a project review meeting presided over by district in-charge Secretary B.S. Ramaprasad, he said anti-social elements were behind the illegal transportation of sand to Kerala. The gangs had attacked officials sent there to check the menace.

Despite this activity being prevented at three or four check-posts, it was difficult to stop it completely because there were more than 20 entry points to Kerala, he said.

Deputy Director of the Department of Mines and Geology Ravindra told the meeting that the cost of a truckload of sand in Kerala was Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 compared to Rs. 2,000 here.

Laterite blocks

Mr. Ramaprasad also instructed the Department of Mines and Geology to file cases with the police if laterite blocks were extracted from government land. Mr. Ravindra said that he was regularising such cases after inspecting the areas where laterite blocks were being extracted.

He, however, said that the departments owning such land should not allow such activity. Mr. Ramaprasad asked him to stop regularising the extraction and pointed out that the Lokayukta had taken serious note of this issue.

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