Karnataka

‘Administration lackadaisical over sand removal’

Office bearers of Maraligagi Horata Samiti at a press conference in Udupi on Wednesday.

Office bearers of Maraligagi Horata Samiti at a press conference in Udupi on Wednesday.  

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Samiti threatens to boycott polls

The Maruligagi Horata Samiti on Wednesday urged the district administration to solve the problem related to removal of excess sand from Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas and non-CRZ areas in the district at a meeting to be held at the District Offices Complex today, failing which they will boycott the parliamentary elections.

Addressing presspersons here, Raghavendra Shetty, convener of the samiti said when approval from both the Union and State governments for removal of excess sand had been received, the district administration was using delaying tactics in granting its permission for teh same.

Deputy Commissioner Hephsiba Rani Korlapati pointed at the Model Code of Conduct for not being able to take action on the matter. But the samiti had approached the district administration even before the model code was announced. Ms. Korlapati said that she required time to study the issue, he said.

Mr. Shetty said that many truck owners were facing a lot of hardship as they had no work to do. Construction was a major sector of the district’s economy. If removal of excess sand did not start, it would have cascading effect on the economy.

Though the Samiti had twice held protests on the matter in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, there were still no results.

Elected representatives of the district had been only paying lip service to the problem. Neither the district in-charge Minister Jaimala nor the MP Shobha Karandlaje had taken steps to solve this problem. “A meeting has been called at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office on Thursday. If there is stalemate at this meeting, we and our family members will boycott the parliamentary elections,” he said.

Sathyaraj Birti, chief convener, said that the administration had spent ₹27 lakh on a bathymetry survey. It was losing revenue daily due to non-removal of excess sand. Illegal sand removal was rampant in the district, he alleged.

DC’s response

Meanwhile, speaking to presspersons here, Ms. Korlapati said that administration had to follow rules and directions and orders of the courts and the National Green Tribunal on the sand removal issue. “Nobody should boycott voting in polls. But we will act as per law on the sand removal issue. We cannot go beyond the law,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:48:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/administration-lackadaisical-over-sand-removal/article26526184.ece

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