Mangaluru, Mar 15, 2017: DK district administration it is reported has no plan to ban sand extraction from the rivers in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) following the February 27 judgment of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) cancelling sand mining permits in Udupi district.
The NGT Southern Bench, Chennai, while disposing of applications filed by Udaya Suvarna and others, had held that the Udupi district administration had considered reports by a retired professor of the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, to decide the quantum of sand that could be extracted.
The tribunal had also taken exception to allowing sand extraction in CRZ areas by circumventing the CRZ norms in the guise of “facilitating smooth movement of fishing boats”. It had directed the district administration to strictly follow the guidelines framed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change while considering applications for permits to extract sand in CRZ areas. Following the NGT ruling, the National Environment Care Federation petitioned the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner to enforce the judgment in this district also. Similar modality is followed in Dakshina Kannada too while issuing permits, the federation’s general secretary Shashidhar Shetty stated in the petition.
However, DK DC K.G. Jagadeesha said there is no rampant sand extraction in CRZ areas in the district, particularly since he banned inter-district movement of sand about two months ago.
Yet, there are a few cases of illegal sand extraction and the district administration is acting against those responsible whenever possible, he said, citing several raids conducted against illegal sand extraction.
Mr. Jagadeesha added that if sand extraction is banned in Dakshina Kannada district as well, the construction industry in the undivided district would be affected. The extraction permits expire by the end of March.
Pursuant to the plea from his Udupi counterpart, DK DC Dr Jagadeesha said he has relaxed the ban on inter-district sand movement only for the neighbouring district. He also said the pressure on CRZ areas could come down soon as the State government is revising the sand policy. More sand from non-CRZ areas is likely to be made available, he said