Ban on Sand Mining is Reason For Black Market – Purushotham Kottary

Mangaluru: Civil Contractors Association (CCA) staged a protest regarding the ban on sand mining in front of the DC Office here, on March 21.

Contractors, engineers and several workers holding placards held a protest rally from the Nehru Maidan culminating at the DC office.

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Speaking on the occasion, President of CCA, M Purushotham Kottary said, “There is a stalemate in sand mining from the past two months in the district as the DC has issued orders citing fresh auction of mining licenses. This has resulted in lack of sand for construction purpose and as a result contractors have stopped the construction work incurring heavy losses.”

He further said, “The impact on the daily wage labourers has been quite significant too.” He said that though they have approached the department of mining and geology, and were promised that the ban would be revoked by February 20, 2016. But the ban has not been revoked, the DC had said that the auction of sand blocks would be held on February 29, when the PWD would float tenders inviting interested contractors to bid for sand mining. “It was also noted in the leading newspapers that permission for sand mining would be issued after securing a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), but nothing has happened so far,” he said.

Kottary said, “Though there has been a ban over sand mining, the district administration has failed to curb it completely. This has led to illegal mining and has created a black market for sand which is mainly due to inter-district sand trafficking.”

“To stop the black market and illegal mining of sand, we need to stop the inter-district sand trafficking and the auction of sand blocks should be in favour of contractors of Dakshina Kannada and local workers,” he added.

Sudesh Kumar President of Canara Builders Association said, “Leaders should have taken action when the licenses were about to expire. Other than MLA J R Lobo, no other leader stood beside us. We contractors are always with the workers and will fight for our rights.”

Former President of Civil Engineers Association, Vijaya Vishnu Mayya said, “The situation is such that, we have to struggle to use our own natural resources. It is shameful that the government has made us puppets in their hands.”

After the protest, a memorandum was submitted to the DC in this regard.

CCA Vice President, Dinkar Suvarna, Mahabala Kottary, Secretary, Devananda, Joint Secretary, Ashok Kulal, Treasurer, Suresh J and others were also present.

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