More curbs against illegal sand transport
With complaints of illegal sand transportation and overloading galore in the district, the Dakshina Kannada District Administration has authorised more than 500 officials from different departments to check and seize trucks violating the rules.
Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim, who also heads the task force on sand, told presspersons here on Thursday that as many as 205 trucks were seized in massive operations carried out on Monday and Tuesday across the district.
Maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000 would be imposed on the operators under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, he said.
With soaring demand for sand from Bengaluru region and the government directing supply of at least 200 truckloads of sand from the district every day to the region, the illegalities too were on the rise, he said. Between March 15 and April 15, the administration booked 47 cases of illegal transportation, 35 cases of overloading, four cases of illegal mining and six cases of inter-state transportation, he said.
Besides asking forest check posts in the borders to verify documents and load weight, more than 500 officials from various departments have been authorised to seize trucks violating rules. They would undertake the operations in teams, Mr. Ibrahim said. Compulsory installation of GPS on sand trucks and installation of CCTV cameras in check posts would be done in the coming days while the present focus is on curbing illegal transportation and overloading, the officer said.
Presently, majority of the sand is sourced from coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) areas of Netravathi and Gurupura rivers, wherein 19 sand blocks spread across 330 acres have been identified. However, mining permits had been issued to 168 persons for 185 acres, Mr. Ibrahim said. Royalty of Rs. 1.75 crore, administrative fee of Rs. 1.16 crore and permit book fee of Rs. 2.92 lakh have so far been collected.
The administration has seized seven dozers and one earth mover, which were deployed despite ban on mechanised mining of sand in the CRZ area, Mr. Ibrahim said.