Priority will be given to clear pending passes

The ban imposed on river sand-mining following a ruling of the National Green Tribunal will be lifted in the district on Monday. The Revenue Department took the decision following a recent order of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

Priority will be given to clear the pending passes issued by the local bodies permitting sand collection. According to official sources, hundreds of such passes are awaiting clearance.

New passes later

Though sand-mining and allotment will resume on April 21, new passes will be issued only later. As per a direction given by District Collector C.A. Latha to the revenue officials and panchayats, the counters for issuing new passes will function only from April 24.

As per the latest arrangement, the pending pass holders will have to resubmit their passes to the grama panchayat secretaries concerned to get sand. A new date would be allotted for sand collection from the permitted river basin on submission of the card, the officials said.

With the lifting of the ban, people in the construction industry hope that the price of sand will come down. “Dearth of river sand had forced people to depend on the sand already procured by some traders, paying very huge price. The dearth of sand had severely affected small families who were constructing their houses,” said a builder from the city.

Sea-sand-mining

Taking advantage of the shortage, some illegal sand-miners had ventured into selling sea sand, which is not recommended for construction purposes without proper processing. Several coastal areas of Kozhikode were under the illegal sea-sand-mining threat, which the revenue officials failed to monitor as they were busy with Lok Sabha election duty.

In 2012 too, a similar ban on river sand-mining was in force as the Revenue Department had found several violations that affected the eco-system. The month-long ban was lifted following an agitation by various trade unions.