Beach sand heaps stored at Naruva village in Ranastalam mandal.
Beach sand heaps stored at Naruva village in Ranastalam mandal.

  • Mines and revenue officials maintain apathy
  • Officials are yielding political pressures
Srikakulam: Illegal sand mining is rampant all along the coast of the Bay of Bengal Sea in Srikakulam district. Sand mafia excavating beach sand illegally and mix it with sand of rivers and rivulets and sold it to builders and contractors of Visakhapatnam and other areas. Normally beach sand not suggestible for construction works as it is containing salty nature and not suitable for construction as it is not strong. For protection of environment also beach sand mining is illegal and against rules. But with support of ruling TDP leaders sand miners are violating rules out rightly at sea coast villages in Ranastalam, Etcherla, Srikakulam rural, Gara, Polaki, Santhabommali and other mandals.

Mainly in Ranastalam mandal sand mafia members are keeping sand heaps in gardens and open places after it is excavating from local rivulets and later it is mixed with beach sand and selling to it to builders and contractors. Tractor owners of Naruva, Mentada, Donipeta, Akkayyapalem, Saragapeta, Kunduvanipeta, D.Matsyalesam, Budagatlapalem, K.Matsyalesam and other sea coast villages are rampantly excavating the sand from sea shore illegally. Pydibhimavaram industrial area is became a center for sea sand storage and its shifting to other areas. Mines and geology department, police and revenue officials are well aware over illegal sand mining and it’s mixing with river sand and its transportation to other areas. But they are maintaining silence and they are being bribed by sand miners and also yielded to political pressure.

Sand heaps along the sea coast are useful in prevention of huge damaged during cyclones but sand miners are not concerning over safety of people and environment and they are concentrating only on illegal earning at the cost of environment and public safety. ‘We are going to deploy separate teams to prevent beach sand mining’ Srikakulam revenue divisional officer (RDO), N.V.Ramana and assistant director for mines and geology, Randhi ThammiNaidu explained.

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