HYDERABAD: Apprehending depletion of river water and adverse effect on cultivation, two agriculturists from Kadapa district filed a PIL (public interest litigation) in the High Court here on Tuesday with a request to set aside the lease granted by the mines department in for sand quarrying in Cheyyaru river.
They requested the High Court to direct the lessee to forbear extracting any sand or taking it away from the Komarunipalle sand reach in Nandalur mandal in Kadapa district.
According to petitioners G Gopinath Reddy and T Narasimha Reddy, they have cultivable lands in Siddavaram, Kothapalli of Rajampeta, Penagaluri and Nandaluru mandals, and Cheyyaru river is the major irrigation source for these lands.
The assistant director of mines and geology called for tender-cum-public auction with a minimum bid amount of ` 62.5 lakh for grant of quarrying rights of ordinary sand in Nandaluru mandal for a period of two years i.e. up to March 31, 2013.
There was only one bidder, A Veera Krishna Reddy, who participated in the auction on June 3, 2011 and was declared as the successful bidder. He made some payments pursuant to the auction.
The zilla parishad chairman and the district-level sand committee passed a resolution on June 24, 2011 not to grant sand quarry lease and for cancellation of the above auction.
But the secretary to mines department ordered that the lease had to be executed in favour of the bidder on the ground that there was no provision for cancellation of auction.
Accordingly, the department issued proceedings dated December 14, 2011 allowing the bidder to carry on quarrying which is detrimental to the agriculturists of all the neighbouring lands.
Besides, 30 villages are dependent on the river for cultivation and household purposes, the petitioners said.