KARIMNAGAR: : Illegal sand mining is going unabated in the district thanks to the nexus between some public representatives and smugglers.
Though the district administration formed divisional level teams with revenue, police and transport department authorities, the sand mining is going unchecked.
Sand transporters dig sand on the unauthorised banks of Manair river. Hundreds of sand trenches can be noticed along the path of the river. The abundant availability of sand in these water bodies is a boon to smugglers.
On an average, at least 50 trucks of sand is being transported from Karimnagar district to Hyderabad everyday.
The offenders dump the sand on the outskirts of the city in the day after smuggling it from river Manair and other rivulets. Later, they transport it to Hyderabad in the nights and sell it for higher rates, in view of the heavy demand for it in the capital.
With increasing pressure from political parties, the revenue and police departments are reluctant to take action against these sand transporters.“We have received orders from political parties and higher officials. We have no other choice but to look the other way,” a constable working at a checkpost said.
Local tractor owners also mine sand from unauthorised areas in broad daylight.
In spite of illegal mining, the state government earned decent revenue from sand business.
There are two official sand reaches in the district - Kothapalli in Thimmapur mandal and another at Khazipur in Karimnagar mandal.
According to Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) district project officer KLN Rao, TSMDC received `184 crore by selling 31.43 lakh cubic metres of sand in 2015-16. However, it received `30 crore by selling 5.50 lakh cubic meters from April to June.
Checkposts have been put up at many places in Karimnagar district to curb illegal transportation of sand but there is no proper vigilance at these places enabling smugglers to carry on the activity unhindered.