Stop illegal sand mining at coastal areas and to protect the natural resources in the district - NECF

Richard D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 06-11-2018 07:37:06

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Udupi : National Environment Care Federation (NECF) requested Karnataka government to stop the illegal sand mining at coastal areas of D.K. District and to protect the natural resources of the district.



Speaking to media persons at Udupi Press Club on Monday, November 5, Shashidhar Shetty, General Secretary of NECF said that the traditional sand mining is running since several years in both the district. Since last year this profession has become illegal business and by this effect there are several causes that destruction of natural resources, damage to nature, loss of life of several people by the accident due to running of mining lorry, damage to the roads by the improper transportation of salt water, destruction of water resources, destruction of reserved Kandla forest, cause damages for reproduction of water living species like crab, fish etc by using heavy machineries, damage to the peace full living of public by the unlawful mining of sand, by this kind of problems, the offers are earning illegal money by bribe.

He said as per the Central Environmental Department Act, the collection of sand is not a profession. It is clearly mentioned that the removal of sand is made only for the purpose of leveling the surface of the water. By this can avoid the inconvenience to fishing to local small fisherman’s boats. In such a case identification is made by the certified firm as directed by the Central Environment departments. Removal of sand shall be made by local fisherman and no labour will be appointed to this work.



Any kind of machineries shall not be used. The person who is having the license for removal of sand shall use village boats that the instrument made by single wood for catching fish is used. No iron instrument is used.

The person who is having the license for removal of sand in notified area shall remove the soil by hand and put into bucket and then load the boat. The sand accumulated shall not be sold and transported to other district or state, it shall be sold to local construction work or government projects and shall pay the prescribed fees and tax by the government.

There are clear cut violations of rules at all paces comes under district administration, but has not taken any strict action in this regard. He said that he don’t know the reason, why instead of using small village boats for removal of soil, using the big size mechanized boats.



He said that the law permits only 1 mts height of removal of sand made from the ground of the river. But the sand is removed till 18 feet by the help of machines. By this act, water of drinking resources like well, pond will become salty and will become hard water. This can be proved by looking into the conditions at the several Island of district. Before 15 to 20 years back can get the sweet water in the well and pond of these islands. But by the illegal sand mining, the salt water joined to the inner water. By this the condition is worst. The Panchayat is arranging the water pipe lines from other village. It can be proved by looking into the condition of well water of several villages of D.K., which existing in the bank of river Netravathi and Heri Kudru of Kundapura of Udupi taluk has become salty water since 15 years.

The sand removing contractors shall not utilize the labours which has been clearly expressed in directions of Central Environment department. Even though the contractors are clearly violaged the rules by employing the hundreds of labours from North India, Bihar, Orissa etc. This is clear cut violation of rules.

The permission is given to remove the sand from morning 6 to evening 6 o’clock. But in several places day and night also removing the sand. The contractors made arrangement of small shelters for such workers who came from outside near to the river. But no arrangement is made for toilets for their use. These people do toilets in public places even during the day time while at the existence of people. This has created a great problems and in convenience to the people of that area and it has spoiled the nature and villagers and breathing bad smells.


By this sand mafia business the females are not able to wander freely at the villages of Tallur, Uppina Kundru, Hery Kudru. Due to unknown sand labourers are wandering here and there day and night it has been created danger and great hardship to the females of locality. It is use less to blame anybody if any danger or incidents occurred in future. It is better to take strict measures before it occurs.

The permission is given not on the basis of count of sand in a Sy No and the permission is given more than the prescribed limit and only the Sy No of the sand bar is given to the contractor. But till today the mine and Geological department officers not made identification of sand bar in scientific manner. In this regard no documents are maintained in biological mine and Geological department. The place of sand bar is marked properly by locating 4 poll around and shall be tied by the red tape in four sides. Even in the case of any road accident also, the contractors are only allowed to sand removal within the marked areas but instead of using the area in allotted Sy No. using complete river as they like for mining purpose and they are using tractors, JCB, etc for loading and unloading.

As per the law, the sand removed from local areas it is supplied according to the demands of locals as per the rate prescribed by District Administration. But around 90 percent of sand removed from Udupi and DK district is supplied to Kerala, Maharastra and Bangalore without any fear of any body by using to 10 and 12 wheeled lorries. This is a clear cut crime under law, because the law permits only for six wheel lorries.

The Mine and Science Department of Udupi, has not mentioned loop holes in their information filed before Central Environment department and filed false report stating that such kind of problems are not existing in the license granted areas.

The sand removing labourers are using dynamite to catch the fish in their free times. Some times this illegal activities can be seen under the bridges of national highway and fishing by using the explosives. This is being a clear cut violation of law. The Mine and Geological department make an enquiry unofficially to the place of illegal mining can find the dynamites and tents of labourers.

As per the law, it has been prohibited to stock the sand and transportation is strictly prohibited. Upto 500 mts to 250 mts area of opposite side of flowing the water from left and right side of all bridges. But in our district the illegal sand mining is running even below the national highway.

As per the information received from Kundapur taluk of Udupi district, regarding the reports submitted to Central Environment department about the area of permission granted (CRZ) area, it has been found in the report that there is no existence of National Highway, Railway bridges, bridges, water sources etc. This is completely a false report submitted by the Department to the Central.

To run any kind of mining business, the permission from the local Panchayat is necessary. But no such permission has been taken from the Panchayat and this is also an illegal act. After getting the permission most of the license holder rented the license to the two or more persons and earning Rs 60 to 70 thousand per month. By this single license two to three people are making illegal sand mining in day and night by using hundreds of labourers. By this act, the loss has been occurred to the government fund and also caused loss to the environment also. This matter has been informed by the higher committee.

Even there existing the prohibition, said mining at the time of June 1st to September 30th in rainy season. The DC oc coastal area and resident of coastal district area working committee is reduced the prohibition only for 45 days and curbed the order of Central Environment department. It has become a great damage to the fish to form their breeding in the sand at the time of rainy season. This is unlawful.

The sand mining is strictly prohibited 500 mts straight and 250 mts against the water flow from left and right side of bridges. But till 10 years the illegal sand mining is running at below the railway bridges at Taku, Heri kundru, Sugam and Baroor. In this regard we filed the application seeking information under right to information act to the mining and Geological Department Udupi.

As per Central Environment (Production) Act, the fisherman community who are living in coastal areas and for the purpose of production such as communities livelihood and also to protect the special environment in coastal areas and also in keeping in mind regarding global weather and increasing the sea level and to protect them from such disasters, the places near coastal areas till the dept of sea is declared as coastal restriction (CRZ) and any type of industry or industrial work, manufacturing, stocking, distribution is prohibited in such areas and it is standing prohibited to grant licenses or approval for building or residence for protection purpose at the radius of 100 mts distance from shore. Even heavy such restriction, it is utterly wrong to grant permission for said mining, stocking and transportation.

It is prohibited to sand mining near any public road, bridges, where the water resources is existing and original nature variety areas and biological variety areas and shall not obstruct the original existence of native. Regarding this several environment department issued the directions, but in both the district this law has been violated completely.

Every year the scientifically marking of sand bar shall be made by the approved associations of Central Environment department. Then only can get approval for renewal of sand. But in some district, made the little changes and sent for approval to Central Environment department without making scientific marking of sand humps since 10 years.

15 years back the 170 families of Here Kudru of Kundapura taluk are using well water facilities near to their house. But now inner water sources some very less by sand mining and salt water of sea is flown to the well water and not villagers are facing great problems for drinking water. They have to wait for 2 to 3 days by holding the water pot for 30 minutes for tap water supply per day by the Panchayat.

The NECF requested senior officer that may kindly come to an end of illegal sand mining and the officers and land mafia who are in worried in illegal sand mining for years shall be punished and also take legal action against who damaged the public road, after due investigation of this matter.

He said last year in Udupi district 9,87,179 matric tonnes sand removed and out of that only 20% sand used in the Udupi district. Remaining huge sand was send to other parts of the state and other states. The traditional sand mining sand will be enough for the district, he said.

 It is due to sand mafia for their huge benefit that every sand mafia will earn more than 2lakhs per day in their sand mining business, he said.



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