Can’t control illegal sand mining: Karnataka Minister Krishna Byregowda
BENGALURU: Revenue Minister Krishna Byregowda on Friday expressed the government’s helplessness in controlling illegal sand mining and regulating its supply in the state. Participating in a discussion on the issue in the Assembly, he urged the members to give suggestions to curb illegal sand mining and regulate its trade.
The minister said the issue could not be resolved by successive governments. “If we stop illegal sand mining, the price of sand will increase. If it is legalised by the government, more sand mining will take place. I have seen five governments that were unable to resolve this issue,” he added.
MLAs Allama Prabhu Patil from Gulbarga South and MY Patil from Afzalpur constituencies raised the issue of illegal sand mining. Allama Prabhu made a strong plea to stop illegal sand mining. Because of the increasing cost of sand, people are finding it difficult to construct houses, he said. He even referred to the murder of an official by the sand mafia.
Former minister and Yeshwanthpur MLA ST Somashekar, who raised the issue of illegal stone quarrying near Bengaluru, said that in one case, license has been given for quarrying in 46 acres of land. But quarrying is being done in more than 100 acres of land.
He said blasting at quarries even at midnight was causing inconvenience to the people. Walls of many houses in the vicinity have developed cracks.
Congress MLA N Srinivas from Nelamangala constituency said, “When I raised the issue, they threatened me.”
Responding to them, Byregowda said that this is happening across the state. “When we were in Opposition, I had suggested to the BJP government to levy a one-time penalty on illegal mining.
Drones could be used to survey the illegal quarrying and sand mining areas,” he added. He said that he will ask the minister concerned to send officials to such illegal mining areas.