Sources say value of the spoil being unearthed illegally in the two districts is more than Rs.200 crore per year. (Representational image)
KHAMMAM: Road projects being undertaken in Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem districts have resulted in environment of forest regions getting disturbed. This is because contractors have started mining earth at 58 points in the two districts, most of it illegally.
Authorities have given permission for only 12 quarries in five mandals of Khammam district. But illegal mining is going on at 38 places in 10 mandals. Incidentally, all 12 quarries have been given temporary licenses for only a year. Four of these quarries are in Tallada mandal, one quarry each in Madhira, Khammam Rural. Khammam Urban and Enkoor and two each in Mudigonda and Tinunalayapalem mandals.
Likewise, in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, only nine quarries have been given licenses. But illegal mining is on at another 20 places, including Julurpad, Mulakapalli, Tekulapalli, Aswapuram, Pinapaka, and Chandrugonda mandals.
Sources say value of the spoil being unearthed illegally in the two districts is more than Rs.200 crore per year. It is said contractors who have been given licenses are illegally mining soil from adjacent areas. Only a proper survey can reveal the extent to which such illegal mining is going on.
Illegal mining is going on at four places each in Raghunadhapalem, Enkoor, Tallada, Mudigonda, Tirumalayapalem, Konigeria, and Nelakondapalli mandals in Khammam district. In particular, unearthing of soil illegally from NSP Left Canal is high. Irrigation department has no mechanism to check such loot.
Soil amounting to hundreds of tonnes is being unearthed for construction of a farm market at Maddulapalli in Khammam Rural mandal. The entire soil is being mined illegally.
Authorities say owing to scarcity of staff, there is hardly any check on illegal mining.
When contacted, assistant director of mines Sanjay Kumar said there are taskforce teams headed by tehsildars in all mandals to check illegal mining. He underlined that persons, who want to lift soil from private lands, have to get prior permission from the mining department.