Mangaluru, Mar 27, 2019: The Karnataka High Court has upheld the decision of the district administration on limiting the issue of sand extraction permits in sandbars identified in the Nethravathi and Phalguni CRZ areas.
The government took this step to protect traditional sand extractors and also preserve the environment.
Questioning the district-level sand monitoring committee’s decision to restrict the number of permits to 53 based on the permit holders’ details of 2011-12, Abdul Majeed and Abdul Gafoor, residents of Kannur on the outskirts of Mangaluru had filed a writ in the High Court.
The Divisional Bench comprising Justice L Narayanaswamy and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar dismissed the writ petition and issued an order on March 11. The decision to restrict the sand permits to 53 in the CRZ areas was taken on October 20, 2018. In the writ petition, the duo claimed that they had possessed permits to clear sand bars between 2012 and 2017.
“The decision of the district administration has done injustice to us. There was no scientific yardstick behind the decision of the district administration,” alleged the complainants.
Additional Government Advocate V G Bhanuprakash who argued for the district administration said that permits were issued to only 53 persons in the district for removing sand bars in 2011-12.
Regulation : In 2014, the number rose to 240. The district level monitoring committee had come to a conclusion by taking into note the interest of the traditional sand lifters and also on the environment. “There has been a sudden rise in the number of permits issued after 2011-12,” he informed the court.
The decision of the district administration is on a par with the direction of the Ministry of Forest and Environment issued on November 8, 2011, permitting the state government to stipulate conditions for the removal of sand in the CRZ area manually.
DC welcomes dismissal : After hearing the argument, the Court said in its order the resolution was taken by the district administration that to protect traditional sand miners. “The court does not see any ground to interfere in these writ petitions,” the court said and dismissed the writ petitions.
Reacting to the High Court order, DK DC Sasikanth Senthil said: “In five years, the number of permit holders for sand extraction rose from 53 to 538, resulting in unabated sand extraction. The High Court direction will help us maintain law and order and conservation of the environment.” Hopefully law will prevail to ease the citizens woes in this regard soon.