Illegal Sand Business Still Thrives in Belgaum - The New Indian Express

Illegal Sand Business Still Thrives in Belgaum

Published: 30th December 2013 08:21 AM

Last Updated: 30th December 2013 08:21 AM

Illegal sand mining in the Krishna river in Athani, Chikkodi and Raibag taluk has started again. Around 500 truck loads of sand was reportedly lifted and transported to various destinations in Maharashtra on Friday and Saturday.

The government had earlier totally failed to curb the illegal sand business in the three taluks in the district.

The situation changed after M Parushram assumed office as in-charge AC of Chikkodi division and Aparna Patane as tahsildar of Athani.

The duo managed to put a break on to the illegal transportation. Sources told Express that following strict implementation of the new sand policy and crackdown on illegal business, the price which was at `15,000 - 20,000 till then, rose to `30,000 per truck in the last two days.  Sand from about 5,000 trucks was stocked in open fields as businessmen could not transport it to Maharashtra.

The demand is high in Maharashtra as sand mining has been banned there. Many places in South Maharashtra depend on Athani, Chikkodi and Raibag taluks. Some places in Bagalkot and Bijapur districts are also supplying sand to Maharashtra. Illegal sand business was rampant in Belgaum district for the past four years till the new policy came into effect. The previous government had authorised the Public Works Department to deal with the sand business.  The department had very poor response from the bidders for lifting sand in the Krishna river, as they were not ready to accept the tender quoted by the PWD.

Almost all sand miners here are related to politicians who deliberately quoted less and ensure the government cancels the tender.

From Around the Web