Illegal sand mining rampant in old Karimnagar district
Deccan Chronicle.| Puli Sharat Kumar
There is a great demand for sand available in the Godavari delta region as it is good in quality and highly used for construction purpose
Sand contractors in the district are said to be in cahoots with officials and are allegedly mining sand irregularly at several places. (DC)
KARIMNAGAR: Instead of keeping check on illegal sand quarrying and transportation, the officials of revenue and police departments are allegedly joining hands with contractors, causing huge loss to the government exchequer in erstwhile Karimnagar district.
There is a great demand for sand available in the Godavari delta region as it is good in quality and highly used for construction purpose. Several second-rung contractors and political leaders in Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Sircilla and Jagtial districts became rich in a short time after taking to sand business. Several big contractors from Hyderabad purchase sand from old Karimnagar district and dump it at their secret places for completing their projects, it is alleged.
Sand contractors in the district are said to be in cahoots with officials and are allegedly mining sand irregularly at several places in view of the ongoing monsoon season. It also causes severe threats to the environment.
The persons who want sand must pay tax to the government online between 9 am to 5 pm on working days and must make use of it for the construction purposes. Apart from that, the officials who discharge duties at sand reaches also impose special tax for extra load of sand by giving permission for one or two trips per day after allocating numbers to the tractors.
The contractors, fearing that if heavy rainfall occurred, it would become difficult for them to excavate sand from the canals, rivers and streams, are exerting pressure on the officials concerned using their political influence, it is said.
The officials are allegedly giving permission to contractors to carry out mining even during night hours and on Sundays also, violating rules. The contractors are first mining sand from the reaches and then dumping it at secret places.
Meanwhile, the locals alleged that by excavating more sand from rivers and canals, several pits are created all along leading to accidents and loss of lives. They even pointed out that recently in Rajanna Sircilla district some school going children lost their lives while trying to swim in the water and urged the higher authorities to take immediate steps to prevent illegal sand mining and protect the environment.