The illegal distribution of weathered sand and low-quality pit sand have not declined even after the district administration’s crack down on illegal sand miners after a recent attack on the District Collector. The sale of low-quality sand remains unaddressed as a major portion of the adulterated product is sent to other districts where large-scale builders are duped.
According to local police sources, there are nine such units engaged in the sale of weathered and low-quality pit sand in the rural areas of Kozhikode, especially under the Thamarassery police station limit. These units function without proper clearance from the authority concerned and violating the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.
Weathered sand, with its similarity to pure sand when it is wet, is mostly sold to urgent clients at the same rate of original sand. Many a time, the traders make between Rs.8,000 and 10,000 per load. The only effort needed was to wash the rock sand clean and load it to goods carriers.
A senior police officer from Thamarassery said they had closed down almost all illegal units in the region as per the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. “But, the accused owners challenged it in the court and obtained a favourable verdict after misinforming the authorities,” he claimed. According to police officials, now most of the trade is carried out based on the order obtained from the court. Whenever enforcement squads reached such units, the traders threatened the squad that they would file suit against defying the court order, they pointed out. A local body representative from Thamarassery said the kin of some of influential politicians were involved in the trade.