The District Sand Monitoring Committee headed by East Godavari District Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy has imposed a whopping fine of ₹22.50 crore on three contractors and an agency for extracting sand beyond the permissible area in the four sand reaches of the Godavari riverbed.
The illegal activity, which posed a threat to the existing riverbed ecosystem, had been exposed by the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB - Sand and Liquor) led by ASP Sumit Garud.
Based on the geographical coordinates of the respective reaches, the officials detected the illegal activity and assessed the extent of damage done to the riverbed.
A fine of ₹10.68 crore was imposed on Sayeed Rabbani (Tatipudi reach); ₹5.36 crore on Mallidi Bhupathi Reddy (Kapileswarapuram reach); and ₹1.79 crore on Vomula Srinivasa Rao (Pulidindi reach). M/s. Raghuram Hima Pipes that had bagged the contract for the Vemagiri reach was slapped a fine of ₹4.66 crore.
The quantum of fine was five times the worth of sand illegally excavated.