Mangaluru, Sep 14,2017: Sand extraction from river beds in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in the DK district is likely to commence within a week as about 50 applicants whose applications were found to be in order will be allowed to extract sand.
Sand extraction in the CRZ area will be allowed strictly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said DK DC Dr K.G. Jagadeesha.
The Chennai Bench of the National Green Tribunal on February 27 this year cancelled permits issued in CRZ areas in Udupi district for violation of guidelines and had asked authorities concerned to follow the guidelines.
Sand can be extracted in CRZ areas only if sand bars obstructed free navigation of fishing vessels and for no other reason, the NGT had said.
DK DC Dr Jagadeesha told media that documents provided by 50 applicants are in order and the administration would decide about other applicants at a later stage.
In all, 1,345 people had submitted applications for sand extraction before the August 26 deadline. Of them, 939 applications were rejected for non-submission of supporting documents that the applicants had been traditional sand extractors.
The administration has now given time till September 24 to such applicants to submit supporting documents to prove that they were extracting sand for over three years and that they have dhakke (boat landing point) of their own or government-owned outside the purview of road and railway bridges.
A traditional sand extractor is reported to have said, that applications of many contenders which were not rejected too need to be substantiated with supporting documents.
Some applicants had given documents of last year and 10-year old documents, without knowing that they had to submit documents for all the preceding years.
Last year permits were issued to 423 individuals, the extractor said and hoped this year too, the numbers would not go up.
The Deputy Commissioner is strictly going by the rules, including the definition of traditional extractor, he said and hoped that the officer would do a balancing act between environment protection and sand supply in the region.
The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority has issued environment clearance to extract sand from 20 “sand bars” spread across 331 acres in Netravathi, Phalguni (Gurupura), Nandini and Shambhavi rivers in the district.