Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: Minister for Environment, Ecology Ports and Inland Water Transport J. Krishna Palemar has said that it is not easy for the authorities in Dakshina Kannada to monitor illegal transportation of sand to Kerala, as there are 23 different routes to that State from the district.

In an informal chat with presspersons at Muchchur, near here, he said that Kerala should not encourage illegal cross-border transportation of sand from this district.

According to a report given by A.S. Rao, Superintendent of Police, approximately 200 additional police personnel are required to monitor these roads. “It may not be possible to deploy so many policemen now, given the other duties that they have to attend to,” he said.

“The State Government is committed to meet the requirement of sand from within the State. If there is a shortfall in Kerala, it has to met by some other means,” he added.

Mr. Palemar said that the officials of the Department of Mines and Geology here had cracked down on the sand extraction menace initially, on his direction. But, later they had failed to maintain the intensity in monitoring the situation.

The Minister said that a special team would be set up to combat the menace, but did not give details.He dedicated some welfare projects to the people and inaugurated some others in the Muchchur Gram Panchayat limits.

The Minister dedicated a check dam at Gundavu, across the Nandini at Muchchur, constructed by the Department of Minor irrigation at a cost of Rs 44.96 lakh. He later inaugurated the sinking of a bore well and laying of pipelines at a cost of Rs. 8 lakh, under special component plan at Muchchuru Keele.

Irrigation facility to members of Scheduled Tribes at Muchchuru Keele and Kompadavu were also inaugurated by the Minister.