The traditional fishermen and those extracting sand have been on the collision course in the last few years. Environmentalists say that indiscriminate sand mining in the rivers has affected the fishing population and other marine species. Officials have failed to stop the unscrupulous activity though many species are on the verge of extinction.
“Indiscriminate sand mining is posing a threat to six major dams built across Kali river. Officials have failed to prevent sand mining in estuaries which will have an adverse effect on marine organisms,” said V.N. Naik, professor of marine biology in Karnataka
Though the department issues permits to contractors only for 90 days and permits only 1,000 tonnes to be extracted from the marked area, most contractors flout it. The sand is being transported to Goa though the permit allows only local consumption, said sources.
The sand mining lobby is operating right under the nose of mine and geology officials in Uttara Kannada district. The mafia’s reach became evident recently when some activists stopped a cargo ship which was illegally carrying 2,000 tonnes of sand to Maldives. It was only after series of a protests that the district administration swung into action against the scam. Source
There are 150 boats operating and out of 42 Sand Mining Contractors, only 8 Contractors have proper Licenses, issued by the Mines and Geology Department.
The action of the mine and geology (M&G) department of Karwar that allowed sand mining from the Kali River, has put the lives of thousands of commuters who travel by Konkan railway on the Kali bridge in danger. The Konkan railway bridge, which is 1.5 km long, built across the river Kali, over which 20 trains traverse daily, is facing threats due to sand mining. The bridge is built at the place of confluence of the Kali river and Arabian Sea and so naturally, the pressure of the water is high in this area. Despite this, the M&G department has granted some companies permission to mine sand from this area. Source
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Off to a Spluttering Start....
A Sand - Boat takes off at the Kodibag jetty with six people on board, to 10 - 15 kms upstream of the Kali River to extract Sand from the River Bed.