Drones to tackle illegal sand trade
Illegal sand dump operators, beware of flying camera drones. The Karimnagar Police Commissionerate, which is giving anti-social elements a run for their money through drone surveillance, is now stretching its eagle eye over tracing out illegal sand dumps as well.
Karimnagar: Illegal sand dump operators, beware of flying camera drones. The Karimnagar Police Commissionerate, which is giving anti-social elements a run for their money through drone surveillance, is now stretching its eagle eye over tracing out illegal sand dumps as well.
Despite the best efforts of the government to keep a tab on illegitimate sand quarrying and transportation in the undivided district of Karimnagar, the phenomenon is unabated in the region. The sand quarried from Manair, Moya Tummeda and Godavari is famous and better part of it is transported to Hyderabad.
After the split of districts, Karimnagar has two sand reaches – Khajipur and Kothapally identified by the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC). According to a conservative estimate, nearly 700 trucks of sand were being transported to Hyderabad every day.
“Majority of households in Khajipur village own a tractor, all surviving on sand transportation, be it legally or illegally. As the issue is entangled with the livelihood of many villagers, illegal sand quarrying is thriving in the region. The authorities, despite their best efforts, were unable to stop it totally,” a revenue official said.
Speaking to The Hans India, the Mines and Geology Assistant Director M Kodandaram Reddy said: “There was a quantum leap in the revenue from sand quarrying for the last three years. The government has earned Rs 126 crore in 2014-15, Rs 133 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 180 crore in this fiscal from Karimnagar.” The authorities filed 466 cases and accrued Rs 76 lakh through penalty. So far, this year the cases booked were 204 and revenue earned through penalty is Rs 52 lakh, he said.
Against this backdrop, the camera drone operated by the Karimnagar Police Commissionerate unveiled a new angle to identify the illegal sand dumps. The drone camera captured the pictures of a sand dump clandestinely covered by haystack near Khajipur village, 20 kms from Karimnagar. It was estimated that the dump is worth around 70 truckloads.
The Commissioner of Police VB Kamalasan Reddy said: “We have extended the eagle eye surveillance on illegal sand dumps and transportation. The high-resolution pictures taken by the drone are very effective in finding such illegal activities.” It may be noted here that since the police launched aerial surveillance through drone in October, they were able to bring down the movements of hooligans who were having fun consuming liquor in public places.