Kurnool: With the AP High Court closely monitoring hi-tech sand excavation in Kurnool with the role of the Deputy Chief Minister’s son under the lens, the entire district administration, including the revenue, mining and police department, is working overtime to give a semblance of ‘efficiency’ by cracking down on small-time sand transporters.
The police have stepped up vigil on junctions and highways, which were earlier used by sand transporters with impunity. SP A. Ravikrishna is closely monitoring sand gangs. Unauthorised sand mining is a regular phenomenon in Kurnool, Kallur, Kodumur, Veldurti, Dhone, Mantralayam, Holagunda, Pathi-konda, Belagal and Godur mandals of Kurnool district.
When contacted, the deputy director of mines said as the matter was ‘sub judice’, he could not disclose anything on the matter. However, he said transport of sand for personal use was ‘free and allowed’.
The government of AP has allowed residents on the banks of rivers to excavate sand for personal use. Therefore, it is wrong to conclude sand tractors on the road are being used by illegal miners to make a profit.
While the government stopped sand auctions due to legal and administrative issues, traders are minting money by transporting sand from Tungabhadra, Hagari and Handri rivers using tractors, mini-trucks and even bullock carts on both sides of the above rivers in the district.
Besides, sand is also being secretly excavated from rivulets of Vakkileru and Kundu. The officials are facing a challenging task to prevent the illegal sand quarrying. Most of the illegal sand is transported to Hyderabad and some of it is used for construction activity, particularly in the construction of buildings, houses, and government projects in the district.
Following a complaint filed by the villagers of Cherukulapadu in Kodumrur mandal, which highlighted the role played by Shyam Babu, son of Deputy CM K.E. Krishna Murthy, in sand mining, the HC took it seriously and is monitoring the activities continuously.