‘Sand has become More Valuable than Gold in DK’- MLA Vedavyas Kamath
Mangaluru: Seems like the protests on sand shortage in DK and Mangaluru is a never ending issue- and today the BJP members staged a protest in front of DC office, raising their voices against shortage of sand supply in district and alleging the activities of illegal sand mining going on in and around DK. Addressing the protesters MLA Vedavyas Kamath said “Looks like Sand has become more valuable than precious gold in the Dakshina Kannada and Mangaluru. There has been many assurances from our District in-charge minister U T Khader and District authorities that the issue will be solved soon, but all their promises have never been materialized. When State Revenue Minister Deshpande had visited DK recently he had promised that sand will be made available without any further problems within 15 days- but 15 days have reached to over three months now, with no results”
” If the elected Government representatives and also Minister U T Khader put extra efforts the sand extraction issues could have been solved. All that they are doing is making false promises to the people here. But if you are ready to pay three or four times more the regular price of the sand, it is available with no difficulties, and sand could be delivered to you illegally. And behind this sand mafia is playing a role, and they are the ones delaying the process. Sand mafia is behind this delay. No doubt that the district ruling party is governed by sand mafia, and it is learnt that district officials and sand mafia are hand in hand in this issue. Even though in 2017 400 licence holders applied for tender and were granted permits for mining, but all of a sudden in 2018 the district administration has stopped it, but had called for tenders from new applicants. This shows the connection sand mafia and administration, both involving in scam ” added MLA Kamath.
Speaking further MLA said, “There exists a sand policy in the State government, but unfortunately it is not suitable for Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. Therefore we need a separate and traditional sand policy. If not, the unscientific and non-systematic sand mining will create more problems to DK. Without further delay the concerned authorities of the District administration, including the DC, and District-in-charge Minister U T Khader should sort out a plan to end this sand crisis which has put many builders, home owners in hard ships. Even when the CM was in town recently, he didn’t do anything on this sand issue, nor cared to discuss it with the concerned people”.
Also speaking during the protest MCC opposition leader, MCC, Premananda Shetty said, “We very well know that in Dakshina Kannada, UT Khader, the district minister in charge had formed a separate sand policy for sand mafia, and it has become a good source for the sand mafia to carry on with their illegal sand dealing business. With sand mafia in charge now, you can get sand anytime if you are ready to pay the enormous price. Buying sand from these mafia sand dealers is an expensive deal, and the mafia is sharing their profit with the ruling party leaders and district officials. Sadly the common people are finding hard to get sand, and even can’t build their dream homes. All that the people of DK are getting is fake promises from the elected leaders. It has been weeks and months, but still the sand availability is out of question. We can’t wait further, so BJP will take extreme steps and fight against the sand mafia and other concerned officials, and will see that sand is made available soon”.
Many BJP leaders were present at the protest, and some of them also spoke.