Illegal sand extractors mine in dam backwaters too

They use steel boats, long bamboo poles fitted with baskets

May 23, 2017 10:06 am | Updated 10:06 am IST - Mangaluru

Illegal: Sand mining and transportation activities on the Netravathi at Bantwal.

Illegal: Sand mining and transportation activities on the Netravathi at Bantwal.

Illegal sand extraction continues to thrive in parts of Dakshina Kannada, including Bantwal, the constituency of Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, B. Ramanath Rai.

This is despite stringent action being initiated by the Police Department.

After the licence period for sand extraction in rivers under Coastal Regulatory Zone ended in April second week, sand extractors appeared to have gone up-stream the Netravathi.

Sand extraction continues unabated in the backwaters of Thumbe vented dam built across the Netravathi meant to provide drinking water to Mangaluru residents.Sand extractors have been using large steel boats and extract the sand with the help of baskets tied to long bamboo poles, a method practiced to extract sand in CRZ areas.

Sources in Public Works Department maintained that the area covered by backwaters does not fall under CRZ area; permits to extract sand should be given either by PWD or Mines and Geology Department.

In this case neither the PWD nor the Mines and Geology Department have issued permits to extract sand in the backwaters, sources said confirming illegal extraction.

Deputy Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha said that he would immediately ask the officials concerned to look into the matter.

Superintendent of Police Bhushan Gulabrao Borase told The Hindu that immediate action would be taken against illegal sand extraction.

He said though containing illegal sand mining is not the core duty of the police, they are forced to act against it. The department has opened rowdy sheet against at least 90 persons who habitually indulge in illegal sand extraction in the district.

More than 40 boats used for illegal sand extraction have been seized and it is becoming difficult for the department to guard them, Mr. Borase said.

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