Kakinada: Illegal mining of sand is rampant in East Godavari district. This came to light after the district administration officials seized 13 truckloads of sand at Yetapaka in agency area on Monday. The seized trucks were being used to transport sand to neighbouring Telangana state.
Though officials have closed many sand reaches in the district due to overflowing of flood water in the River Godavari, some persons continue to mine sand illegally and sell it at exorbitant prices.
Due to closing of sand reaches, demand for sand has increased, while the supply is very low. Cashing in on the opportunity, contractors who are illegally mining it have priced three-unit truckload of sand at, as high as, Rs 20,000. Builders have no option but to pay the huge amounts, as they are bound to complete their construction projects and deliver them on time to their customers.
Meanwhile, the district administration has identified illegal transportation of sand from the Godavari canals and is taking measures to curb it.
District collector Karthikeya Misra instructed the Integrated Tribal Development Authority, revenue and police officials to keep an eye out for illegal sand mining.
He issued instructions to the district officials related to sand mining to take stringent action against irregularities.
“There should not any deviations from the prescribed guidelines for sand mining and transportation of the same. A penalty of Rs 25,000 would be levied if transporters and contractors collect exorbitant rates,” Mr Mishra said. He also suggested the officials to create a separate WhatsApp group and also to arrange licensed GPS system to track and monitor sand transporting vehicles.
He clarified that reaches would be reopened after Godavari flood water recedes and prices would be displayed at the reaches.