Mangalore, Sep 23, 2014 : Media reports recently had high lighted stringent action by authorities on the illegal sand smuggling from Dakshina Kannada to Kerala. Currently there is a lull in chasing the sand mafia, the sand smugglers are back in action and are thumbing their noses once again with renewed techniques.
Sand from Nethravathi has been crossing Thalapady border with fake documentation originating from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and so on.
Loads of smuggled sand was seized by police at Kumbala and Manjeshwar; police were shown passes issued by the commercial tax department and mining and geology department of AP, Maharashtra and Odisha, it was detected that the seals were forged. It came to light that authorities in the other states had discontinued passes for sand.
The drivers and cleaners of sand laden trucks confessed that sand was from River Nethravathi. It may be noted that the interstate transporting of Karnataka sand had been banned by a government. A temporary exemption was only for Lakshwadeep.
The racket : The police say that forging of seals indicated the entrenched inter-state racket of sand smuggling which needs to be probed deeper. Police suspect trucks loaded with sand from Nethravathi had been crossing Karnataka border in the early hours showing Maharasthra and Odisha issued passes at the checkposts of Karnataka and Kerala. An official in Kasargod has been saying, atleast more than 40 trucks enter Kerala in this manner every day. The price for normal sand has been put at Rs 6,000, plus Rs 300 as tax.
Directive to checkpost : In the light of sand transport on fake documents, Kasargod police has written to the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial tax department in Kasargod to facilitate the checking of sand laden vehicles from other states by special squad at the checkpost. Sand-smugglers used to transport river sand as silica permitted for transport as it is a major raw material for manufacturing tile, glass etc. It is time that all stops are removed to check and prevent sand organised large scale sand smuggling from DK.