Andhra Pradesh

Crackdown continues on illegal sand mining

Tightening measures against illegal sand mining, the district officials have instructed the owners of tractors used in sand transportation from the reaches to fix GPS devices on their vehicles for better monitoring of the mining activities.

All the vehicle owners covered under the 28 permitted sand reaches across the district right now have been ordered to fix GPS within 15 days failing which stringent action would be taken against them as per the rules.

There have been nearly 90 reaches spreading over the Penna river, Swarnamukhi rivulet, Pamula Kaluva stream and so on all in the district. Due to various reasons, mining is not being allowed in most of these reaches during a year.

Regardless of a series of preventive measures being taken by the administration from time to time, the violations of guidelines are witnessed very often.

The illegal mining activities have been a major cause for concern along the Swarnamukhi rivulet for many years considering the fact that this is located nearer to the AP-Tamil Nadu border.

There were times when over 400 tractors of illegally mined sand had crossed the border at Tada to reach several destinations in the neighbouring State.

On several occasions, the officials stumbled upon sand dumps illegally held by unscrupulous elements in the border areas like Mambattu. They would sell them at higher rates for industrial purposes or to the construction industry in Chennai city.

In a bid to plug the loopholes, District Collector R. Mutyala Raju and SP P.H.D. Ramakrishna had decided to go for some more measures to check the illegal sand mining and transportation activities.

In the past, arrangement of CCTV cameras at the mining reaches was tested but it was stated to have yielded mixed results.

The attention was shifted to keeping a strict monitoring of the tractors being used in transporting sand from the reaches. Already, the movement of these tractors has been limited to night time.

The authorities are hopeful of getting better results after ensuring GPS coverage of all these tractors which would help in monitoring their hourly movement in any part of the district.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 7:53:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/crackdown-continues-on-illegal-sand-mining/article19526339.ece

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