Congress leader writes to Lokayukta on the matter

The former Congress MLA K. Vijayakumar Shetty on Tuesday demanded a Lokayukta probe into sand transport to Kerala and seizure of sand from the premises of trhe Vikas College of Physiotherapy.

Mangalore tahsildar C. Manjunath seized about 150 tonnes of sand from the premises of the college on July 17. However, he later told The Hindu that the leaseholder had furnished the documents on July 19.

In a letter to Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, copies of which were released to the press, Mr. Shetty has claimed that he had come to know about illegal sand extraction, land transactions and mining. Mr. Palemar was “directly involved” in these illegal activities, he charged, seeking a fair probe into the matter.

The Department of Mines and Geology had, from its Bangalore headquarters, issued permission to transport 3,200 tonnes of sand from Mangalore for the construction of the ISRO campus at Thiruvananthapuram, as there was a total ban on sand extraction in Kerala. But sand transported from here was reaching the hands of the sand mafia in Kerala and was being sold elsewhere in that State. “ISRO passes” were being obtained in the name of Mr. Palemar's supporters through the Department of Mines and Geology. Stating that “it is a (sand) business in the name of Mr. Palemar's supporters”, Mr. Shetty sought an inquiry into all aspects of it.

He said sand was sold in Kerala at three to four times its price in Mangalore and hence transported illegally to the neighbouring State.

Keywords: sand transport

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