Sand transport operators led by CPI(M) staged a protest here on Wednesday urging the authorities to release the tractors that were seized in and around Kurnool city recently.
The protesters urged Collector C. Sudharsan Reddy to instruct the officials to release the vehicles after collecting nominal penalty.
The CPI(M) State committee member T. Shadrak who represented the case to the authorities stated that the officials seized over 100 tractors in the past fortnight on the charge of violating the sand extraction rules. He said the authorities and the government failed to understand the ground realities and did not take into consideration the needs of house builders, construction workers and transport operators.
He said there should not be too many restrictions on sand supply for local needs but the officials should enforce the law strictly against the sand mafia which smuggled sand to cities by employing huge trucks and excavators.
He said around 1,000 tractors were operating in the city supplying sand to local builders and majority of who were individuals and first time builders. Around 25,000 people were dependent on the construction industry in the city and restrictions on the sand supply would affect the work force as well as those who dreamt of a house. Unlike other areas, the construction industry was a small enterprise in Kurnool city.
Collector Sudharsan Reddy instructed the Revenue Divisional Officer and Tahsildars to release the vehicles after collecting the penalty as per law. Also, he promised to arrive at the royalty and holding discussions with the departments concerned.