Sand mafia rules the roost in Karimnagar

Sand mafia rules the roost in Karimnagar

The sand mafia is thriving in various mandals in the district right under the nose of revenue and mining departments.

Karimnagar: The sand mafia is thriving in various mandals in the district right under the nose of revenue and mining departments. Instead of keeping a check to illegal mining and transporting of sand, the revenue and mining departments are turning a blind eye and not taking any measures to contain it.

Especially in Bommakal, Erukulla, Mugdhampur, Chegurthi, Gollaepalli, Baopet and Nugunur mandals, the sand mining is rampant where hundreds of tractors and lorries transport the sand illegally in the night hours. Recently, the villagers of these mandals have stopped the vehicles carrying sand in the night and passed on the information to the police for necessary action. The police seized the vehicles and launched a probe.

Further, a villager, B Anil, complained to the Collector during the Grievance Day programme about the illegal mining and transporting of sand from Manair rivulet in Erukulla of Karimnagar rural mandal. In his complaint, Anil stated that after mining the sand from Manair rivulet, the smugglers were dumping the sand at some other places and transporting it in lorries to other regions creating a dent to State's exchequer and making quick bucks. He requested the officials concerned to take immediate action to stop illegal sand mining from their region.

It came to light that the owners of the tractors formed a syndicate and selling the sand for more price. At present, a tractor load of sand costs Rs 4,000. The sand that is dumped at secret places is transported to Hyderabad, Choppandandi and Karimnagar city. Further, the sand mafia by luring innocent minors with money is employing them for mining out the sand. They are even providing them vehicles though they lack the mandatory licences.

However, it can be recalled that the government has given permission to use the sand from Moyathummeda rivulet situated in Ramancha village of Chigurumamidi mandal for construction works taken up under Smart City project in Karimnagar by paying a meagre sum of Rs 200 per vehicle of sand to the Ramancha village panchayat. For a total number of 4,540 vehicles that transported sand, the village panchayat just earned the revenue of Rs 9.08 lakh, while the smugglers made the cash in crores of rupees by selling the same sand illegally.

As the quality of Manair river sand is best suitable for construction, the demand for the sand is more in surrounding regions. Taking this as an advantage, the sand mafia is mining out tonnes of sand from Moyathummeda rivulet and transporting it illegally to Thimmapur, Mohammadpur, Rekonda, Bommanapalli and Parlapalli regions besides Hyderabad.

The rampant sand mining is also seen in Sadashivapalli, Srinivasnagar, Jaggaiahpalli, Lingapur, Veldi, Lakshmipur, Vegurupalli and Utur villages of Manakondur mandal. The sand is transported illegally through hundreds of tractors and trucks every day from the Manair river to Veenavanka, Thimmapur, Karimnagar, Siddipet, Benjjanki and also to Hyderabad. As a result, the villagers have been urging the officials concerned to take stringent action against the sand mafia and protect the rivers and the environment.

Gaddam Sudhakar, Tahsildar of Karimnagar rural mandal said, "We are taking stringent steps to keep a tab on illegal sand mining and its transportation in the district. In this regard, fences are arranged at the suspected places where illegal sand mining is rampant to stop the movement of vehicles transporting sand and sudden raids are also being conducted with the help from police department to contain the menace."

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