Udupi, Aug 19,2017: Speaking to media, Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports Pramod Madhwaraj said recently that sand extraction would begin in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas of Udupi district soon.
Udupi minister Madhwaraj said already the Department of Mines and Geology was in the process of issuing 133 permits in 28 sand blocks in CRZ areas of the district to facilitate easy movement of boats of fishermen in the rivers. Old permit holders and new applications for manual extraction of sand would be considered as per government norms. Those seeking permits for extraction in CRZ areas had to be residents of the local gram panchayats where the sand blocks were located.
But the question of extraction of sand in non-CRZ areas of the coastal districts was being examined by the Cabinet Sub-Committee. While the bureaucrats favoured auctioning of sand bars in non-CRZ areas, the elected representatives wanted it to be leased. A final call had to be taken in this regard. Besides the legislators of coastal districts were seeking a separate sand policy for the coastal districts. As regards the CRZ areas, the department will be giving 26 permits in Udupi, 84 in Brahmavar, 18 in Kundapur, and five in Byndoor. The permits in waiting list include 10 in Brahmavar and 11 in Kundapur. Details were being sought from GPs for four permits each in Udupi and Kundapur. Six applications had been cancelled, including four in Kundapur and two in Udupi. The permit holders were expected to employ local workers. Big trucks would not be allowed to transport the extracted sand. Instead mini-trucks and tippers would be allowed. Officials of all the departments including Mines and Geology, Police, Revenue, Forest, and Excise, and Village Accountants had been given permission to check the lorries. This measure was expected to put an end to illegal transportation of sand from the district to other districts or States.
The stoppage of illegal transportation of sand was expected to bring down the price of sand. The sand was expected to be available at Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000 per tonne, Minister Madhwaraj said. Priyanka Mary Francis, Udupi DC was present.