Mangaluru, Mar 15, 2016 : Despite the reservations expressed by DK DC Adoor.B. Ibrahim, district in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai, on Mar 14, Monday directed the official to find a temporary solution to the sand crisis in the district.
The permanent arrangements include clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to extract sand from rivers in the Coastal Regulatory Zone and auctioning of sand blocks by the Public Works Department in non-CRZ areas.
Raising the issue at the tri-monthly Karnataka Development Programme review meeting here, Mangaluru South MLA J.R. Lobo and MLC Ivan D’Souza, both from the ruling Congress, said that MoEF clearance for sand extraction in CRZ areas lapsed on January 16. They said there was enormous delay in applying for clearance from MoEF by the district authorities. However, this has not deterred illegal sand transportation to Bengaluru and Kerala, they alleged.
The legislators said that construction in Dakshina Kannada could go on only for six months because of the monsoon but they have come to a standstill since February. Development works had been affected too, they said and threatened to boycott the meeting if the issue was not addressed. Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader said that the KDP meeting had the authority to offer a temporary solution.
However Minister Rai was unrelenting, and said his image would get tarnished if he bypassed rules. After exchange of heated words between the legislators and the Minister, Rai directed DC Ibrahim to find out a temporary solution till MoEF gives the clearance or the Public Works Department commences sand distribution from non-CRZ area. An upset DC Ibrahim nodded his head in the affirmative.
While the tri-monthly Karnataka Development Programme review meeting is expected to discuss development issues of the district, MLAs from Belthangady, Puttur and Sullia remained absent in the meeting held on Mar 14.
Vasantha Bangera, Sahkuntala Shetty and S. Angara were not present in the meeting. Ganesh Karnik, K. Prathapchandra Shetty and Kota Srinivasa Poojary, MLCs, were not present either. Mangaluru South MLA J.R. Lobo, North MLA Mohiuddin Bawa, Mangaluru MLA and Minister for Health and Family welfare U.T. Khader, Moodbidri MLA and Minister of State for Fisheries K. Abhayachandra Jain, Ivan D’Souza, MLC, and Mangaluru Mayor Harinath were present.
DK DC A.B. Ibrahim told a Karnataka Development Programme review meeting that work order to extract sand from five blocks in non-CRZ areas of the district would be issued by today Mar 15.
Of the 38 sand blocks identified in non-CRZ area, 37 were put for auction for which only 22 bidders had made the bid. Only five bidders were qualified and five blocks were allotted. Of the remaining 32 blocks, one block each has been allotted exclusively for the use of Mangaluru City Corporation, Dakshina Kannada Zilla panchayat and the Public Works Department. Short-term tenders are invited for the remaining 29 blocks. Minister B. Ramanath Rai asked the PWD and DC not to impose stringent conditions that deter participation from small time contractors.
Shiradi Ghat - phase II work, only after monsoon
Mangaluru : According to a statement of National Highway Authority of India’s Executive Engineer M O Ramesh, the second phase of the development work on Shiradi Ghat stretch is likely to be taken up after the monsoon.
Speaking at the tri-monthly KDP review meeting, chaired by District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai, he said the contractor has not mobilised materials for the road work. “If the work is started now, it cannot be completed before the onset of monsoon,” he said.
NHAIs, Ramesh said the phase II of the road development work on Shiradi Ghat includes 21 kms of asphaltation and 13 kms of concrete. The work will be taken up at a cost of Rs 85.28 crore.
The rigid pavement (concrete road) will be from Kempuhole to Addahole near Gundya on the Dakshina Kannada border and the asphaltation will be taken up from Maranahalli towards Sakleshpur, he added.
Rai said he is not in favour of closure of the stretch to facilitate the work. There is a need to discuss about carrying out the work without completely closing the stretch, he added.
Water problems : Minister Rai said the officials should ensure that there is no water shortage in the district. The Taluk Task Force should convene a meeting and make a list of areas facing acute shortage of water. The deputy commissioner should take measure to solve the crisis, he said.
Zilla panchayat CEO P I Sreevidya said contingency plan has been prepared to overcome water crisis in taluks. According to DK DC, there is no shortage of funds for the works related to water supply.
Further, Minister Rai directed the officials to suspend the title deeds of beneficiaries who have failed to reside on the land sanctioned by the government after two years of sanctioning. After one week of issuing notice to the beneficiary, the title deeds can be suspended and the land can be granted to other beneficiary, he added.
Additional DC Kumar said a total of 54,393 applications have been received under 94C of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act to regularise the encroached government land. Around 7,837 applications have been cleared. Tahsildars have been directed to clear the applications by visiting each gram panchayat, he said.