Sand mafia runs unchecked, loans not reaching welfare beneficiaries

The Bangalore Urban district administration was lambasted by district in-charge and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy for its lackadaisical attitude in controlling the filter sand mafia.

Reviewing the functioning of various departments on Saturday, Mr. Reddy said he was shocked to learn that the district administration had failed to lodge police complaints against the filter sand mafia.

He also discovered loans offered by the Welfare Department were not reaching the real beneficiaries… an admission made by the officials themselves!

The Minister sought to know why the district administration was silent when filtered sand was being supplied to the city unchecked. The officials plainly stated no police complaints had been registered against those who were illegally extracting sand from river and tank beds and that they had only levied penalty.

He asked the officials to file complaints against such persons and said that if found guilty, they (members of the filter sand mafia) could be imprisoned for two years.

Poor numbers

Mr. Reddy took the officials to task for not ensuring that the various schemes reached the beneficiaries. This was after he was told that only 2,000 out of 95,000 eligible beneficiaries benefitted from the various social welfare schemes, while pension for persons with disabilities reached only 43,000 out of 95,000 eligible beneficiaries. He instructed the officials to ensure that all beneficiaries were covered by the government schemes.

Irate with the officials for coming to the meeting unprepared, he asked them if they even went to their offices regularly and ordered them to do their homework before attending the next review meeting.

More In: Bengaluru