Today's Paper

Shivamogga staring at sand scarcity

The district is likely to face scarcity of river sand in 2016-17 too owing to deficient rainfall.

Like last year, the Department of Environment and Forests has permitted lifting sand in 45 blocks of the 98 blocks on river banks in the district.

Recording a deficiency of 35 per cent rainfall this year, the district only received 1,377 mm rain this year so far against the average rainfall of 2,188 mm.

The water flow in rivers was not as expected last year owing to drought, and accumulation of sand in 19 blocks was less than the estimate. The available sand in these blocks was also of poor quality. The scarcity had forced the Public Works Department to adopt rationing policy last year.

Rajesh, a teacher who is constructing his house at Vinobha Nagar, said that though the water level in rivers had receded, the government had not commenced distribution of sand. As per the price fixed by the government in 2015-16, customers had to pay Rs. 11,000 for one truckload of sand of 6 cubic feet that included expenses towards labour and transportation. Owing to the scarcity of sand and delay in distribution, those involved in illegal trading of sand are selling it for Rs. 35,000 per truckload now, he said.

Mr. Rajesh said the district administration should seek permission from the Department of Environment and Forests to lift sand in additional blocks this year. Measures should also be taken to popularise manufactured sand, he added.

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