Illegal sand mining is continuing unabated in parts of Alur and Sakleshpur taluks. Unfortunately, the government’s new sand policy has remained only on paper.
A team of officials in the Revenue, PWD, Mines, Geology and Police Departments, formed to check illegal sand mining, has failed to take stern action against illegal sand transporters, said sources. Attacks against officials from the Revenue, Mines and Geology Departments are on the rise. Officials fear to visit sand blocks allotted to contractors through tenders, in fear of being attacked.
Sources said sand contractors were supported by a section of senior politicians. In the past, tahsildars of Holenarasipur, Sakleshpur, Alur and Channarayapatna taluks were threatened with dire consequences when they waylaid sand-laden trucks in different parts of the district. Sand transporters indulged in illegal mining at Hemavathi river near Kerodi, Magalu and Harihalli of Alur taluk, Kytanahalli, Mudalahippe, Shravanoor of Holenarasipur taluk as well as Hettur and Yeslur hoblies of Sakleshpur taluk.
Check posts set up at Byrapura and Channapura villages in Alur taluk have become bribe collection centres, as trucks easily pass the check post by paying a fixed bribe. A truck owner said over 500 loads of sand are transported to Bangalore and other districts every night. The senior geologist of the Mines and Geology Department and tahsildar of Alur taluk were not available for comment.