The officials have booked more than 100 cases in Jaggaiahpet, Kanchikacherla, Mylavaram, Veerulapadu, Chandarlapadu and other river-bed mandals in the last few months and have collected nearly Rs.11 lakh in penalties.

Even though there is a ban on sand quarrying in the State, sand smugglers are doing good business with the officials failing to check illegal sand mining in Krishna district.

The sand contractors are illegally digging sand from Krishna bed and are transporting it to Krishna and other districts across the State. The officials have booked more than 100 cases in Jaggaiahpet, Kanchikacherla, Mylavaram, Veerulapadu, Chandarlapadu and other river-bed mandals in the last few months and have collected nearly Rs.11 lakh in penalties.

Recently, the sand contractors attacked ‘grama naukaris’ Shaik Hussain when he tried to stop the sand-laden vehicles at Malkapuram village in Jaggaiahpet division. The staff suffered injuries in the attack.

In another incident, the sand smugglers tried to attack Village Revenue Officer (VRO) P. Saibaba and ‘grama naukaris’ Skaik Vali and Janpad by pouring petrol on them in Polampalli Revu. VRO P.S. Krishna Rao was attacked when he conducted raids on illegal mining at Indupalli village in the district a few days ago.

The Chillakallu police arrested two persons for allegedly trying to mow down Jaggaiahpet MRO, V. Madan Mohan with their vehicle when the officer tried to intercept a sand-laden tractor at Dharmavarappadu village.

Speaking to The Hindu, CITU Jaggaiahpet division secretary Metikala Srinivas alleged that the illegal sand mining was thriving with the support of some political leaders and officials in the district.

“Though the High Court ordered ban on sand mining in the State, the activity was going on unchecked. The mafia leaders who have a strong network were even resorting to attacks on officials. Several political leaders from ruling and opposition parties were also involved/supporting sand mining”, Mr. Srinivas alleged.

Negligence

In the fresh raids, in which the Revenue and Police officials seized about 144 lorries at Papavinasanam village on Saturday, the Irrigation and Andhra Pradesh Minerals Development Corporation officials failed to respond on unauthorised sand mining.

“The contractors were selling sand at Rs.12,000 to Rs.16,000 a truck and were causing damage to the river as well as ecology”, a local Veeraiah alleged.

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