Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Construction Workers' Federation-INTUC alleged here on Monday that the sand lobby in the State was enjoying the patronage of a section of the police force.

Addressing a press conference here, federation president A.C. Jose and leader T. Saratchandra Prasad said the unholy nexus between Revenue and Police officials and a section of politicians was responsible for the emergence of the sand lobby. They said the indiscriminate seizure of vehicles transporting river sand from different places was aimed at helping the lobby.

The leaders alleged massive corruption in the distribution of sand collected from lakes and reservoirs. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) controls most of the cooperative societies through which the sand is sold, they said. “The mafia is torpedoing the efforts of the government to distribute sand at a fair price,” they said.

The federation announced that it would oppose the move to transfer the pension fund of the Construction Workers' Welfare Fund Board to the treasury.

“The decision to transfer the Rs.500-crore fund and park it in the State treasury was taken by the government arbitrarily, without consulting the workers' unions. Such a move will affect the functioning of the board and hit disbursement of pension to the beneficiaries,” Mr. Jose said.

The federation will stage a dharna in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday to highlight its demands.