BANGALORE: Public Works Department Minister H C Mahadevappa said the State government is seriously considering a proposal to invoke Goonda Act with provisions to arrest those involved in illegal sand mining.
The government is keen to check illegal mining as it has given room to the growth of young anti-social elements, he told the Legislative Assembly. Mahadevappa refuted Opposition Leader Jagadish Shettar’s charge that he and his son are involved in illegal sand mining.
He said the government will stop illegal mining and the Cabinet Sub-committee headed by him has framed the new sanding mining policy. The government will put an end to organised criminals and mafia operating in sand mining and ensure the consumer gets sand at cheaper rates, he added.
Shettar said illegal sand mining is rampant in T Narsipur, Karwar, Haveri, Yadgir. He also displayed pictures and documents about illegal sand mining in Anekal.
R Ashok (BJP) said illegal sand mining has been reported near the Bannerghatta forest. Sand is sold at exorbitant prices by truck owners and authorities have failed to act against those into illegal mining, he charged.
H K Kumaraswamy (JD-S) said the government should create a separate department for sand as PWD Engineers are busy monitoring sand mining instead of focusing on development of roads.
Mineral Protection Force Planned
The State government is planning to start a mineral protection force’ to check illegal trade of sand, said Congress leader S R Patil. He said the force would be carved out from the Police Department. Plans are on to make GPS and RFID compulsory on all sand transport trucks, he added.