Deputy Commissioner asks officials to redouble efforts against illegal activities

Deputy Commissioner N.S. Prasanna Kumar on Wednesday reaffirmed that there would not be any let-up in the crackdown against illegal extraction and hoarding of sand and the district officials have been asked to redouble their efforts to put down such illegal activities.

Talking to presspersons here, Mr. Prasanna Kumar said that 350 truckloads of sand illegally hoarded in open spaces in and around the city have been seized and now stored in the government yard near Buddha Vihar.

The ban has been effective in bringing down illegal extraction of sand and its transportation during the night.

He said that none of the persons who claimed ownership of sand illegally hoarded in open spaces had any official document to prove that the sand was legally extracted. One of the major demands of the owners of trucks transporting sand into the city and traders was that they should be allowed to retain stored sand on the ground that they would pay penalty and also royalty fixed by the authorities.

“Sand is not a trading commodity and permission for extraction of sand is given for a particular purpose — constructing buildings, and once sand is extracted it should be dumped near construction sites and not hoarded in open spaces to create artificial shortage,” he said.

After the crackdown by the district administration, the price of sand had come down by Rs. 5,000 per truck and there was some semblance of order in extraction and sale of sand.

Mr. Prasanna Kumar said that he would not yield to pressure from the sand lobby to be lenient but would go all out against illegal extraction and sale of sand in the interest of environment and also people who are in need of sand for construction activities.

On Tuesday’s incident of a truck with seized sand being impounded by truck owners in the Rajapur locality and the assault on Gulbarga Tahsildar , Mr. Prasanna Kumar said that an inquiry has been ordered against the Tahsildar.

How the sand-laden truck which should have gone to the government yard strayed in the opposite direction would also be investigated. “We would not spare those involved in the episode,” he said.

Mr. Prasanna Kumar said that those responsible for the assault on the Tahsildar would not be spared either. Those involved were being identified and they would soon be arrested, he added.

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