‘Govt. attitude responsible for stoppage of sand extraction’
K. Raghupati Bhat, MLA, said recently the lackadaisical attitude of the State government was responsible for the stopping of sand extraction in Udupi district.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Bhat said that a delegation of BJP legislators had met Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Mines and Geology Minister Rajashekhar Patil separately and had urged them to restart sand extraction in the district. But no action has been forthcoming.
Concerning extraction in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas, the BJP legislators and the Congress MLC, Pratapchandra Shetty, had put pressure on Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis to start the process of identifying sand dunes in the district.
Accordingly, a seven-member committee had been set up to look into the matter.
Local fishermen had given applications pointing the areas where there were sand dunes and they could not row their boats.
This would help in the identification of the areas for sand extraction, he said.
This identification should be done with the help of experts from the NITK-Surathkal. Later, a Non-Objection Certificate is required from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Once this was available, then extraction can start in CRZ areas in the district, he said.
As regards, non-CRZ areas, the State government should give up its policy of auctioning of sand dunes at taluk-level as most of these areas in the district were with private persons and not with the government.
Instead the areas should be leased out as was done previously. Hence, the BJP had been insisting on a separate sand policy in non-CRZ areas in the coastal districts.
The identification of sand dunes in the CRZ areas should have been completed in January/February. But this was not done.