Boats for sand extraction should have GPS, says DC

9:38 AM, Friday, November 10th, 2017

GPSMangaluru: The District Sand Monitoring Committee will make it mandatory for traditional boats engaged in sand extraction from rivers in Coastal Regulation Zone to install global positioning system (GPS) and colour code matching with sand blocks allotted to respective permit holders, within a fortnight.

Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil, who is also the Chairman of the Committee, told reporters here on Thursday that the guidelines by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change would strictly be adhered to while allowing sand extraction in CRZ area.

The administration would also adhere to National Green Tribunal’s order with regard to sand extraction from CRZ in Udupi district, the DC said. When neighbouring Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts can implement GPS and colour coding for boats and sand blocks, there should not be any issue in enforcing the same in Dakshina Kannada.

Without GPS and colour coding, it is difficult for the administration to identify who is the bona fide extractor and who is illegally undertaking extraction. Following complaints of erratic sand extraction, his predecessor (K.G. Jagadeesha) had decided to enforce the rules as they were. Traditional extractors, who were removing sand for the past at least three years’ are being given permits with 40 permits being issued so far.

Permits for another 63 applicants, who submitted documents to show they were engaged in extraction for over three years, would be issued shortly. Each permit holder is allowed to deploy three boats. The number of permits astronomically rose from about 60 in 2011-12 to over 400 in 2015-16 giving way for unbridled sand extraction, he noted.

Mr. Senthil said he is concerned about the sensitiveness of the CRZ area and would not allow its destruction. When pointed out that large steel boats fitted with outboard engines are deployed for extraction, the DC said the MoECC guidelines mandating use of only traditional boats would strictly be enforced.

There is no shortage of sand in the district, and the price too is reasonable. Sand extraction from non-CRZ areas, which is permissible, would be allowed shortly, Mr. Senthil added.

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