‘Act tough against illegal mining, sand extraction’

Minister for Mines and Geology C.C. Patil on Wednesday asked officials to act tough to prevent illegal mining and illegal sand extraction in Udupi district. He was speaking at a meeting of officials of the department in Karkala. Before allowing mining and sand extraction, officials have to carefully study documents concerned. They should not, however, deny permission for minor technical errors.

Udupi district was given a target of ₹ 24 crore royalty collection and so far, ₹ 16.29 crore was collected. He asked officials to reach the target by March.

Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat suggested synchronisation of GPS devices of sand extracting boats in CRZ area and sand transporting trucks to prevent illegal sand extraction in the district. Following a demand from legislators in the coastal area for a sand policy for the region given its unique geographical nature, the government was formulating one. Defects in the Maralu Mithra App were being rectified, he said.

The Minister directed officials to accord permission to extract sand for local use in 34 second and third grade sites where gram panchayats had given consent letters. Karkala MLA V. Sunil Kumar urged the Minister to permit inter-district sand transportation between Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district so that Karkala taluk gets sand from Belthangady and Moodbidri taluks of Dakshina Kannada.

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