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Sand mafia gaining ground

Sand mafia gaining ground
Highlights

Repeated raids haven’t drowned any spirits. Confiscation of vehicles hasn’t ruffled any feathers. The penalties imposed weren’t given a hoot. Illegal filter sand mining is still rampant and the sale of it is going unabated despite a High Court ban. As the business hardly requires any investment,

Illegal sand mining thriving

Repeated raids haven’t drowned any spirits. Confiscation of vehicles hasn’t ruffled any feathers. The penalties imposed weren’t given a hoot. Illegal filter sand mining is still rampant and the sale of it is going unabated despite a High Court ban. As the business hardly requires any investment, workers and tractors on the outskirts of the city, particularly Patancheru, Keesara, Jinnaram and others, see a lot of activity.

Earlier, the miners used to feed on river beds, they used to dig the sand and wash it using a mesh. Once the mud is washed with water from tanks or bore wells, the remaining sand is sold. But of late they are digging private and open lands for the sand. “There aren’t many river beds in and around the city and with the stringent mining laws in place, the illegal miners are pouncing on open lands. The filter sand is the best filler material that is available and is ideal for construction.

If offered, no builder will refuse it,” informed Vijay Jandhyala, director of Jandhyala Constructions. Earlier the city used to see a steady supply of sand from the Andhra region. Post bifurcation the supply has been hit due to the curbs on sand mining. Now, sand miners are cashing on the ever rising demand. The mining activity starts late at midnight and ends within a few hours. Most of the mining incidents aren’t reported.

A revenue official in Keesara admitted that multiple gangs are in the business and it has become increasingly difficult to nab the operators as the mining is done very quickly. “The operations are discreet and they never hit the same place twice,” he added. Papa Rao, mining officer, Department of Mines and Geology, informed that the department has slapped cases on 30 filter sand operators and imposed a fine of Rs 9 lakh. “Rather than filter sand, rock sand can be used for construction purposes. There are about ten rock sand crushers in and around the city. It’s time that government promotes the use of rock sand. This will curb the rampant mining,” he added.

By:Aditya Parankusam

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