Udupi, Oct 21, 2016: Speaking to media persons here on Oct 20, Thursday, activist Uday Suvarna of Udupi, who has approached the NGT, National Green Tribunal in Chennai charging irregularities in the sand extraction in Baikadi and Haradi areas, said he is shocked by the behaviour of the people’s representatives in their approach towards putting an end to the anomalies.
Suvarna said he has been fighting for the cause for the past 10 years. Former MLA Raghupathy Bhat should not forget that the irregularities in the sand extraction process existed during his tenure and it was just a beginning, he charged. Bhat has also made charges against the district in-charge minister and has said that he is supported by the minister to create artificial shortage of sand in the district, which is absolutely untrue.
Suvarna said he is an independent person, despite working in the fish meal industry owned by the minister. "Even if the minister convinces me to withdraw the petition, I will not agree as the level of corruption in the sand mining activities is too high. I am paid for the work I do in the fish meal industry. The employer will not interfere in the decision I make with the desire to help the public in my village. I have been actively involved in the sand mining-related activities. In fact, I have worked as a sand labourer for at least four-and-a-half years," he claimed.
He said that Bhat has also failed to convince the then government of his own party to formulate a separate sand policy. He said if at all his employment brings him problems against the struggle he has taken up, he would resign from the employment. He said he had also approached the present minister. The minister has only assured that he would set the problem right. No action has been taken in this direction, he charged.
He said there is no question of withdrawing the petition. "I will fight till the justice delivered. I have approached the Green Tribunal citing the irregularities in the sand mining activities at Baikadi and Haradi," he added.