Andhra Pradesh

Raids send sand prices soaring in E. Godavari

Two to five reaches a day are being found errant by the special teams in East Godavari district, says Joint Collector A. Mallikarjuna.

Two to five reaches a day are being found errant by the special teams in East Godavari district, says Joint Collector A. Mallikarjuna.  

Spat between two elected representatives at ZP meeting stirs up hornet’s nest

Sand prices in East Godavari district have gone up from ₹2,000 to ₹3,000 per unit within days of multi-departmental teams commencing raids on sand reaches and ordering the closure of over a dozen reaches.

Delivered on the spot over a phone call till a week ago, it required an advance booking of two to three days to get the river sand.

It all began with a wordy duel that took place between Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council Reddy Subrahmanyam and YSRCP MLA from Kothapeta Chirla Jaggi Reddy during the general body meeting of the Zilla Parishad on May 24, over the issue of illegal sand mining.

Police task force

Since both elected representatives made it clear that illegal sand mining was going on in the district and blamed each other for the situation, the district administration got alert and constituted multi-departmental teams to conduct sudden inspections on the sand reaches and take action against those who were responsible for the illegal mining.

As many as five teams consisting of eight officials each representing the revenue, police, irrigation and the mines departments were formed and being deputed to the sand reaches every day. “We are issuing orders to stop sand mining temporarily in the reaches where the teams noticed violation of norms. Two to five reaches a day are being found errant by the special teams,” says district Joint Collector A. Mallikarjuna.

In addition to these teams, the Police Department has deputed special task force teams of one each to all the five sub-divisions to prevent illegal transportation of sand. “People can give us the details of illegal sand transportation. Their details will be kept confidential,” says district Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni.

The builders, however, are complaining of a sudden rise to the tune of Rs. 1,000 per unit in the last one week.

Builders unhappy

“Though the government announced free sand policy, we have to pay the charges, which are going up day by day,” says S.V.M. Chandrasekhar, president of the CREDAI’s Kakinada chapter. “We are clueless about the developments on the sand front,” says Nekkanti Srinivas, a builder.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:49:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/raids-send-sand-prices-soaring-in-e-godavari/article24027983.ece

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