It asks State to hand over sand reaches to gram panchayats

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has demanded the State government cancel all auctions for the quarrying of sand and hand over the sand reaches to the concerned gram panchayats.

The CPI (M-L) Krishna district secretary Muppalla Bhargavasree in a press release here on Saturday said natural resources such as sand that belonged to everybody were being exploited by only a few that have formed into a sort of ‘sand mafia'. Some politicians were also working hand in glove with these elements, he alleged. The sand mafia were quarrying sand way beyond the guidelines.

While sand should be quarried only to a depth of one foot this was never the case, he alleged.

In a charter of demands the CPI (M-L) also demanded that the State government should cancel the contracts to quarries where the mining and geology guidelines were not being followed.

Adverse impact

The State government should frame proper rules to ensure that there was no loss to the State exchequer in conducting auctions for sand reaches.

Mr Bhargavasree said the villagers living in areas adjoining sand reaches were being put to tremendous inconvenience not to mention the damage they were doing to the roads.

The noise and air pollution being caused by hundreds of sand lorries passing through villages was having a tremendous adverse impact on the rural life.

The government should ban the movement of sand trucks through villages to safeguard the health of the residents, he said.

Demanding the roads damaged by the sand trucks be repaired immediately, the CPI (M-L) observed that the daily wages being given to the mutha workers, who load the sand on to the trucks, should be fixed at respectable amount per month along with other statutory safeguards.

The CPI (M-L) also demanded severe punishment to corrupt contractors and government officials and implementation of WALTA Act to conserve groundwater.

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