Sand mafia ruling roost in Nizamabad district
Nizamabad district has turned into hub of criminal activities by the sand mafia. It is ruling the roost in the district under the very nose of the Revenue and the Police.
- Directive by Minister for Major Irrigation Harish Rao to officials to end smuggling fails to show any results
- Turnover of sand smuggling is estimated to be Rs 10 cr a month
Nizamabad: Nizamabad district has turned into hub of criminal activities by the sand mafia. It is ruling the roost in the district under the very nose of the Revenue and the Police.
Smuggling of sand in massive quantities is going on unhindered from Banswada, Jukkal and Bodhan. The illicit trade is flourishing with the active cooperation of not only officialdom but also some political leaders, besides a section of villagers where the activity is concentrated.
A group of people have obtained permission from the officials to clear the sand accumulated on their agricultural lands at a village under Bichkunda mandal. The farmers, who have obtained the permits to sell the sand deposits on their fields, sold them to the sand mafia.
Taking advantage of these permits, the mafia has built ramps along the course of Manjira River in the district and started quarrying sand.
The sand thus extracted from the river is being smuggled to Hyderabad, Bidar and other places. The gangsters are reportedly paying towards the village development Rs 1,500 per each lorry load of sand being smuggled out. It is a ploy to ensure that the villagers do not create obstacles to their illegal activities.
According to reliable information obtained by the HMTV/The Hans India, 250 to 300 lorry loads of sand is being smuggled out of Shetlur village under Bichkunda mandal every day. The volume of sand in monetary terms is reportedly as high as Rs 10 crore a month. It means that the annual turnover is more than Rs 100 crore.
The mafia has recently suffered a severe blow in one of the villages Baranedgi where people have stood up against the gangsters and ensured that the smuggling activity is stopped.
However, the criminal activity of smuggling sand is continuing from other villages. Officials have not so far taken any action to end the smuggling activity and thus protect the environment despite the directive by Minister for Major Irrigation T Harish Rao.