Karimnagar: The concerned authorities are not quarrying the sand in Manair river, fearing plunging groundwater table. Smugglers are illegally extracting the sand at various places in the river for making huge profits using short cuts. Consequently, the groundwater level is likely to be depleted. This has become a cause of concern in view of deficit rainfall registered by the district and summer around the corner.
Manair, a tributary of Godavari river, has about two crore cubic metres of sand, according to surveys carried out by mines and geology department. N. Hari Kumar, assistant director of ground water department said that intake-wells and drinking water schemes built across the river would be affected if the mineral was extracted from the river. So, the sand of the river is not being excavated for selling to construction purposes.
In the meantime, smugglers with the help of local public representatives and by bribing police and revenue officials, are carrying out illegal quarrying of the sand from the river at Durshed, Chegurthi, Manakondur, Shankarapatnam, Veenavanka, Kondapaka, Kothireddypalli, Jammikunta, Vilasagar, Tanugula, Ghandrapalli, Vavilala, Muttaram, Tadicherla and Mahadevapar villages.
According to sources, about one lakh cubic metres of the sand is being mined from the river at many places per month. Currently, Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) is disposing the mineral from three identified points at Rs 550 per cubic metre. This means, the government is losing several crores of rupees every month. At the same time, groundwater table is going down.