Ombudsman directs Corporation, Venganoor and Kalliyoor grama panchayats to
Thiruvananthapuram: Ombudsman for Local Self-Government institutions M.R. Hariharan Nair has directed the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and the Venganoor and Kalliyoor grama panchayats to ensure that no licence is issued for sand-mining from Vellayani Lake.
Death of teenager
Citing media reports about the death of a teenager who fell into an underwater pit caused by sand-mining from the lake on Sunday, Mr. Hariharan directed the local bodies to produce the details of the licences granted for sand-mining in the lake in the past three years.
He also directed the local bodies to present details of unauthorised mining and the action taken against the culprits.
The order issued by the Ombudsman noted that Vellayani Lake was a freshwater reservoir which provided drinking water to the people in Kovalam, Vizhinjam, Pachalloor,Vellayani and adjoining areas. For this reason, it said, sand-mining from the lake had to be stopped.
The order said the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and the two panchayats were equally responsible for maintaining the ecological balance of the lake. The local bodies have also been asked to conduct patrolling with the help of the police to ensure that sand-mining does not take place and to seize boats and sand collected from any location along the lake.
The local body authorities have been directed to report on the action taken in these matters by December 29.