Mangaluru Aug 1, 2016: Newly appointed Dakshina Kannada DC Dr Jagadish said that, Dakshina Kannada is known to be one of the developed district, but there are several challenges in this developed district. We will definitely cross these barriers to develop.
Addressing the press in DC office today August 1st Monday, he said that I look forward for the support and suggestions from people, media, and elected representatives. I will meet the previous DC, and seek suggestions from him as well regarding developmental activities in this district.
He also said that, high level negotiation has to be done with elected representatives regarding the land acquisition by MRPL companies and take necessary action so that people will not face any problem. Footpath vendors have been a headache. It is important to convince them rather than taking legal actions, said DC.
Additional DC Kumar, Information officer Khader Shah were present on the occasion
The NECF, National Environment Care Federation has moved the NGT, National Green Tribunal against uncontrolled sand mining in the region. The petition is expected to come before the Tribunal on August 17. The move has come at a time when the DK district administration is all set to implement a policy for sand mining at CRZ, coastal regulatory zone.
Federation General Secretary H Shashidhar Shetty, who spoke to reporters on Monday, said, "Sand mining in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts is gigantic, amounting to Rs 850-crore scandal per year, with the top officers, irrespective of DC, fisheries and other departments officials, colluding in the same."
Shetty, who claimed to have evidence of this, handed to the media a CD, compact disc of a 280-page record - a condensed version of documents that run up to 2,800 pages - that he had collected through the RTI, Right To Information Act from the past two years. He said that he has already lodged a complaint with the chief secretary of Karnataka and, later, submitted a memorandum along with soft copy of the evidence in his possession to DK DC Dr K G Jagadeesh who assumed charge on Aug 1, Monday.
Referring to the procedures of sand mining, Shetty said that, although rules stipulate the licence-holders to lift sand from the identified bars, there are no attempts made by the Department of Mines and Geology to scientifically mark the bars. Similarly, rules prohibit the lifting of sand from 500 metres against the flow of water near the bridge area and 250 metres on the either side - so also within 50 metres of buffer zone and the activity is restricted from dawn to dusk. Ironically, all these rules remain on paper, as those involved in the trade have been removing sand according to their whims and fancy.
Citing examples, Shetty said that, flouting rules, sand is being lifted at the bridge area near Nethravathi River, Sangam to Tailur bridge and the Maravoor bridge. The trees in the buffer zone are axed at night, only to remove sand following day.
While it is mandatory for the licencees to lift sand themselves, they are deploying labourers for the same, again a clear violation of rules, insisted Shetty. In addition to this, according to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, only those belonging to Mogaveera (fishermen) community should be issued licence. Also, mining should be banned for a period of three months from June to September against the two-month ban imposed in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts from June 15 to August 15.
Referring to records in his possession, Shetty said, an officer refused to furnish information under RTI, citing a related judgement in a case, while another officer tried to grease his palms. Sand mining is allowed only to remove sand to facilitate easy movement of boats in water. Now, sand for construction is transported to Kerala and other States at high profits.