Srikakulam: Illegal sand mining in coast goes unchecked
Sand mining along the sea coast in the district is rampant in several mandals.
Srikakulam: Sand mining along the sea coast in the district is rampant in several mandals. Itchapuram, Kaviti, Sompeta, Mandasa, Vajrapukotturu, Santhabommali, Polaki, Gara, Srikakulam rural, Etcherla and Ranastalam mandals have seacoast in the district.
Due to the new sand policy being implemented by the state government, sand has become scarce across the state. Labourers charge Rs 3,000 for illegal loading per tractor in the area which has led not only to the shortage and high market prices but also low quality of sand. Locally influenced people had started sand mining along the seacoast and mix the same with the river sand.
This substandard sand is being then sold to the customers with high price tags. Due to salinity in the sea sand, it is not suitable for construction works but the sand mafia in the district has crossed all limits and is selling the mixed sand illegally to the customers.
Open places and various gardens situated along the coast are the venues for mixing of sea and river sand and from here that sand is then transported to the urban areas like Palasa, Srikakulam,Vizianagaam and Visakhapatnam. Mining is unabated along the seacoast at Hukumpeta, Manchineellapeta, Kottapeta, Kotapalem, JeeruKovvada, Guppedupeta and other villages.
Sand mining activity is going on during night hours regularly and mafias mix and transport it in the darkness also. "Sand mining along the seacoast is not allowed and private mining of sand even in the rivers is also an offence. We will look into matter and identify the places where illegal mining is happening .We will also inform police and revenue officials and will launch a joint operation against mafia soon," assured deputy director for mines and geology, K SuryaChandra Rao.