KRV Stages protest to Lift Ban on Sand Extraction
Mangaluru: The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staged a protest against the ban on sand extraction, in front of the DC office here on September 27.
Prior to the protest, a vehicle rally was flagged off from Shanthi Niliya grounds, Balmatta and culminated in front of the DC office.
Addressing the protesters the president of civil contractors Association Purushotham Kottari said, “We have 268 members in our association and we all need sand for construction work. But the Deputy commissioner has stopped giving us permission to extract the sand. Whoever works with honesty and integrity will always prosper. We thought the new DC is a very good man and he will do justice to us by lifting the ban on sand extraction. But the DC has maintained silence on the sand issue”.
He further said that the sand is a gift from nature, we get enough sand from the Phalghuni and Netravati rivers. But the district administration is not permitting us to extract the sand. The district administration has banned the extraction of sand for two months which is from June 16 to August 15, 2016, because of the fish breeding season and the rainy season. But now, even after a month has passed from the date, the mines, and Geology department has not given permission to extract the sand. In Mangaluru construction work has stopped and people are facing problems without sand. If the district administration will not allow us to extract sand in the coming days we hold a massive protest.
President of the Karnataka Rakshan Vedike Anil Das said, “In the district, people are facing a severe shortage of sand to build houses. Construction work has stopped, people who are depending on daily wages for a living are facing problems because of unemployment due to the unavailability of sand. At the same time, some of the powerful people are transporting sand illegally to other districts and selling it for a much higher price. Because of them, others are not raising their voice. In Mangaluru there are a number of builders and contractors but they are not taking part in the protest because they get sand whenever they want”, he alleged.
Anil further said, “When the new DC took charge, we thought he will do justice to us, but after observing his silence in sand issue, we realize that he is also under pressure. The people who are depending on traditional sand extraction are facing problems. They extract the sand, sell and pay tax. But now they too are unable to extract sand due to the ban. With the ban in place, it is surprising that sand is available with some persons. If you pay them, they will unload the sand at the place you tell them during the night. They also have 12 wheeled trucks that transport sand during the night to other districts. How they get permits to extract the sand is anyone’s guess!. Earlier in DK there were only 40 permits but now there are 400 persons having permits to extract sand, they have purchased the permit paying Rs 2 to 3 lakh and whenever they want sand they can extract it. Only the legal permit holders are deprived of extracting sand. There are a number of associations but all are not raising their voice against the ban on sand extraction. A company called M-sand is advertising their product. The company is ready to supply M-sand to people, which is not durable. People should not believe in such companies, he said.”
President of Consulting Civil Engineers association Vinayak Pai, Vijay Vishnu Mayya, Madhusudan Gowda, Sunil Kumar, Dinesh Addur, Nazir Bengre and others were also present.