VIJAYAWADA: As the news of illegal sand mining at Gurrajupalem in G Konduru mandal spread on social media, workers of the sand quarry in the region left the machines unattended and fled from the spot on Sunday.
The workers were alerted after locals informed the revenue and police officials about the illegal activities being carried out near the Chamata Vagu stream.
According to villagers, a few contractors, ‘backed by the Telugu Desam leaders’, were mining sand from the stream and transporting it without obtaining necessary permissions from the department concerned. Though, they said, they had opposed to this earlier, the contractors continued to carry out the illegal activity unabated. “Sand mining has put downstream villages at risk. Authorities concerned should take necessary action against the accused and the political leader supporting them,” the villagers said urging the revenue officials.
However, reliable sources in the revenue department said Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao was the person supporting the illegal sand mining and that he failed to take action against the accused when the villagers approached him with complaints. “Devineni is the MLA from the Mylavaram constituency and he is aware of the illegal sand mining. To save his close aides, he remained silent and is encouraging illegal activities,” sources said.
Authorities also called for a departmental inquiry. Police filed a case.
Meanwhile, there were rumours that some officials of the revenue department colluded with contractors and shared information pertaining to surprise raids.
Villages at risk
Sand mining has put downstream villages at the risk of being flooded, villagers said
Sources in the revenue department said Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao was the person supporting the illegal activity