The State government’s decision to allow transportation of sand from the State to Kerala and Goa will deepen sand scarcity in the district, said U.T. Khader, Mangalore MLA, in Mangalore on Wednesday.

Addressing presspersons, he said the Cabinet’s decision smacked of disregard for “rules and regulations” and would see those engaged in sand-mining selling it for higher prices in Kerala without bothering about local interests.

“There is a shortage here. By allowing free transportation, they have given a free rein to sand transporters. Construction in the district will become more expensive and will affect the middle and lower middle sections of the society,” he said.

He said he was not against transporting sand to other States but wanted the State government to “impose a higher royalty at the check posts” to ensure regulation.

The Mangalore MLA also flayed the State Government’s decision to give subsided rice to below poverty line (BPL) families at Rs. 2 a kg. “For nearly five years they didn’t do this. After losing the urban local bodies election they have decided to dole out freebies. We have asked the Election Commission, and the Governor to look into the matter as it amounts to cheating voters,” he said.

Mr. Khader also said the “populist” decision was taken without factoring in the financial situation, and could even create problems for the next government.

Mr. Khader also criticised the government for continuing with the Netravati diversion project.

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