15 days deadline to solve sand problem: Raghupati Bhat

Team Udayavani, Dec 9, 2018, 9:25 AM IST

Udupi: The district administration should take action to begin full scale sand mining by giving lease to the 170 traditional sand miners that the administration had earlier identified. 15 days deadline will be provided for this. If not, another satyagraha will be held in front of the DC’s office, warned MLA Raghupati Bhat speaking at a press conference on Saturday.

After conducting the protest, we met the state minister, officials and union minister and then placed before the union government the clarifications sought by the state government and the district administration. Therefore, currently there cannot be any confusion. The central government gave the clarification on Nov 29th. But till now, neither the state government not the district administration has taken any action. The problem is being ignored in the district, he said.

25 lakhs metric tonnes of sand

Excluding Kundapur and Byndoor, it has been determined through bathometric survey that there is altogether 25 lakh metric tonnes of sand available at the various sand blocks. Last year, 9 lakh metric tonne was identified and only 6.70 metric tonnes of sand was mined. This time there is an extensive availability of sand. But due to the district administration’s adamant stand, it is getting difficult. If the questions submitted by the DC to the central government are to be observed than it seems as if they are trying to permanently stop sand mining, he said.

Let the report be sent to KSCZMA

We had started a protest demanding to start sand mining on Oct 25th. On the same day, the DC wrote a letter to the state secretary. On Oct 26th it was sent to the central government. Later the bathometric survey was initiated. On Nov 1st the survey was completed. When the delegation went and met the union minister for environment Dr Harshavardhan, he took necessary action and gave clearance to the state government. The district administration has given wrong information regarding the sand blocks to the Karnataka State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA). Therefore it has been again sent back. The district administration should immediately take action. If the DC had acted soon after the central government had given clarification, sand mining would have started by now. Amidst this, attempts are being made to present the issue before the state cabinet subcommittee. But till now, not a single meeting of the subcommittee has taken place. Also there no expectation that soon there will be a meeting in connection to the sand issue. Therefore, the state government must immediately give the right direction to the DC to start sand mining within 15 days, insisted the MLA.

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