Over 2,000 lorries transporting sand and construction material have been off the road in the city and many parts of Mysore district since Wednesday night to protest against a police crackdown on “illegal” sand transportation.
The lorry owners threatened to stop all vehicles transporting building material in the region if the Government did not resolve the issue in a week.
According to president of the Mysore City Local Lorry Owners' Association B. Kodandaram, who led the protests, the police booked cases against lorry owners who, they claimed, were transporting sand and imposed fines of up to Rs. 1 lakh on them.
Several of these lorries were in police stations in T. Narsipur taluk of Mysore district. Fines had been hiked from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1 lakh by the authorities, he said, and called the decision “irrational” and “unscientific”. This had hit those who depended on the sand business, he said.
The assurances given by Minister for Medical Education and in charge of the district S.A. Ramdas six months ago were not fulfilled, Mr. Kodandaram said. Instead of issuing permits to transport sand, the Government was using the Police, Revenue and Mines and Geology departments to crack down on sand transporters, Mr. Kodandaram claimed.
The Government had also gone back on its promise to introduce a new sand policy, he alleged.