Udupi: Sand Mining Issue Dominates Zilla Panchayat General Meeting

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Udupi: “Sand mining has destroyed the lives of people and is also a huge loss to the state exchequer,” said Babu Devadiga. He was speaking during the Zilla Panchayat’s 24th general meeting held at the Dr V S Acharya Auditorium, Manipal here on November 3.

Sand mining activities need to be monitored by the district administration since irregularities in sand mining are destroying the natural resource. Sand excavators excavate sand in one area and use another area to dump it. Sand is sold to the locals at the same rate that is applicable to outsiders. The price for sand has risen steeply and has become a hurdle for the construction of houses under the government funded projects, he added.

The Tahsildar of Kundapur said that the association of sand excavators in a press statement had agreed to sell 50% of the sand excavated at an affordable price to the locals. “The irregularities reported in the mining and dealing of sand will be dealt with lawfully.”

Additional Superintendent of Police said that 21 temple thefts were reported in Udupi district. The temple committees were advised to appoint security personnel and install CCTV cameras in temple premises. The temple administrations were also advised to safeguard jewels and valuable items in the treasury and cash chest. Thieves loot temples located in isolated areas with no guards. He also said that the DCIB along with another team is on the look out for the thieves. The DCIB has already nabbed 3 thieves in connection with several temple theft cases and has seized Rs 29,00,000 lakhs.

Mamatha Shetty said that rape cases are being reported from isolated areas and students are in fear to commute to schools and colleges. The Additional SP replied that the police sub-inspector are instructed to address the grievances of school children and girl students are advised not to travel alone in isolated areas. Ganapathi T Sriyan urged the Additional SP to retain Kundapur Women Police Station which will be shifted to Udupi.

Gopi K Naik said that the harvesters were charging Rs 300 as transportation fees with the machinery used for harvesting costing Rs 1400 per hour. Agriculture DD said that the district has a demand of 200 harvesters where harvesters are provided to people with a joint collaboration with SKRDP and Agricultural department; the rest of the demand is met by private harvesters. Katpadi Shanker Poojary said that the government should announce the support price for rice in October. The government usually announces the support in December which is not suitable for the farmers of coastal region who harvest crop in October, he added.

ZP President Savitha Shivanand Kotian, ZP Vice President Prakash T. Mendon, ZP CEO Kanagavalli, ZP Standing Committee Presidents, Deputy Secretary Shrinivas Rao and others were present.

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