Bengaluru: If the colour of the pristine Suvarna Mukhi stream at Somanahalli village in Kanakapura in the outskirts of Bengaluru has changed in recent years, it’s not because of natural factors but because sand filtering is happening recklessly in the stream.
With the construction industry booming in the city, there is lack of availability of river sand which has led to a rise in sand filtering. The sand mafia has not only ruined Vrishabhavathi valley but also Suvarna Mukhi stream where sand filtering has been rampant for five years.
One of the residents on the condition of anonymity said, “A group of people get mud and sand from other places and filter it in the stream. 5-10 lorries carry 12 tonnes of sand here every day. Even land granted for a ground of the minority community has been taken over by the mafia.”
A whistleblower who preferred to be anonymous, said: “They make Rs 40,000 from each lorry every day but the damage that they are doing to the environment is really worrying. Some influential people are involved and we are working to find out who they are.”The silt from the stream joins lakes and this has affected the other water bodies as well. High pressure pumps are used to pump the water.
Earlier illegal sand filtering units were found at Kengeri, Belur and Vrishabhavathi valley. The immunity which the accused enjoyed, led to the mushrooming of sand filtering units.Attempts to get the views of government officials proved futile....