Sand extractors in CRZ worried about obtaining fresh environment clearance
With the environment clearance (EC) for permits for extracting sand from rivers in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) in the district expiring this December, traditional sand extractors are the worried lot as the process of obtaining fresh EC is still midway.
In all likelihood, there will be a break in sand extraction from January following the delay thereby affecting the construction industry in the region, sand extractors fear.
Tenders are yet to be finalised to conduct the bathymetry survey to estimate the quantum of sand available as mandated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), said Mayur Ullal, former president of Sand Transporters’ Association. The bathymetry survey that takes about a month to assess available sand in rivers under CRZ, has to be ratified by experts from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, which again takes another fortnight, he said.
While the tenders for the survey had to be opened on November 1, they could not be opened for technical reasons and finally when they did on November 20, the committee believed the quotes were too high and was mulling over inviting fresh bids, Mr. Ullal said. This, he claimed, would push the date for obtaining the EC by at least another three months (March), by when the construction industry normally comes to a halt owing to non-availability of water.