Party workers take out a procession in Somwarpet
Janata Dal (Secular) workers took out a procession at Somwarpet in Kodagu on Monday urging the district administration to put an end to “sand mafia” at Kodlipet in Somwarpet taluk, and to condemn the arrest of Kodagu JD (S) president V.P. Shashidhar in connection with the trouble that broke out at Kodlipet two days ago.
The members marched from the party office in the town and formed a “human chain” at the private bus-stand. They raised slogans against the Somwarpet MLA and the State government, according to information received here.
Later, they gathered on the Somwarpet taluk office premises and staged a dharna. The former Minister B.A. Jivijaya, who led the protest, alleged that officials had maintained silence in spite of the fact that unauthorised sand mining had been going on in Kodlipet hobli.
In spite of the directions that sand mining could not be undertaken after 6 p.m. sand was being extracted from the riverbed at Hampapura village in Kodlipet, Mr. Jivijaya said. Sand was being sold for Rs. 8,000 per load. Somwarpet MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan had stated that sand business accounted for good revenue to the State government. On the contrary, it was causing huge loss the State exchequer, Mr. Jivijaya alleged.
The members submitted memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner through the Somwarpet Shirastedar. Local Janata Dal (S) leaders S.B. Bharat Kumar and V.M. Vijaya were present.
Meanwhile, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner N.V. Prasad, who chaired a meeting at the Old Assembly Hall in Madikeri on Monday, ordered that no sand extraction should take place in the district after 6 p.m. according to a press release.
He asked the officials to survey the extraction areas and suspend the process of extraction till the survey was completed.
Only specified vehicles should be used to transport sand from the riverbeds to the dumping yard.
More check-posts must be opened to check illegal sand transportation and nodal officers appointed for the purpose of carrying out inspections.
Further, Dr. Prasad said that sand should not be transported from the dumping yards after 8 p.m.
Additional Deputy Commissioner K.M. Chandre Gowda, Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat N. Krishnappa, Superintendent of Police Manjunath Annigeri, and Senior Assistant Commissioner M.R. Ravi were present.