Sand extractors in CRZ anxious about lapsing of environment clearance


Steps are being taken to hasten obtaining the EC, says Deputy Commissioner

With the environment clearance (EC) for permits for extracting sand from rivers in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) in the district expiring this December, traditional sand extractors are the worried lot as the process of obtaining fresh EC is still midway.

In all likelihood, there will be a break in sand extraction from January following the delay thereby affecting the construction industry in the region, sand extractors fear.

Tenders are yet to be finalised to conduct the bathymetry survey to estimate the quantum of sand available as mandated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), said Mayur Ullal, former president of Sand Transporters’ Association. The bathymetry survey that takes about a month to assess available sand in rivers under CRZ, has to be ratified by experts from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, which again takes another fortnight, he said.

He told The Hindu that the District Sand Monitoring Committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner, began the process of obtaining the EC in the right earnest three months ago. The processes of receiving representations from the fishermen to remove sand dunes in rivers for easy movement of fishing boats and the committee giving its approval to conduct the survey were done.

While the tenders for the survey had to be opened on November 1, they could not be opened for technical reasons and finally when they did on November 20, the committee believed the quotes were too high and was mulling over inviting fresh bids, Mr. Ullal said. This, he claimed, would push the date for obtaining the EC by at least another three months (March), by when the construction industry normally comes to a halt owing to non-availability of water.

Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B. Rupesh however said she was aware of the intricacies of the issue and would resolve it this week. There are very few companies undertaking this survey and the lowest bidder claimed that the quote was a little high compared to last year since two more rivers were added. “We will negotiate and go forward with the survey,” she said.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:44:53 PM |

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