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Principal Secretary directs PWD to resolve sand crisis

Bharatlal MeenaMangaluru : Bharatlal Meena, Principal Secretary in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, on Tuesday directed officials from the Public Works Department to resolve the issues related to sand stockyards to make sand available for people at the earliest.

“We cannot cut a sorry figure before the Chief Minister when he reviews the works in the district on April 21. The issues should be resolved at the earliest and sand should be made available to the people,” Mr. Meena told the Executive Engineer of the department at a meeting here.

Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim said that officials from the department were reluctant to permit extraction of sand from the 38 sand blocks in the non-Costal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) areas. This has led to delay in road works and other projects of the government. “Public representatives are upset with us for the scarcity of sand,” he said.

PWD Executive Engineer said that four contractors had come forward to transport sand from the 13 of the 38 sand blocks identified in the non-CRZ areas. Work orders would be issued in the next few days. He said that they did not have space to stock the sand extracted from the sand blocks.

“I do not want to hear such excuses,” Mr. Meena said and directed the PWD Executive Engineer to consult the two Assistant Commissioners and tahsildars to sort out the problem. The sand should be made available to the people in the next few days, he said.

An official from the Mines and Geology Department said that sand would be made available from 19 sand blocks in the CRZ areas in the next two days. The official said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests had given clearance a few days ago for extraction of sand from the 19 sand blocks. District Task Force for Sand Extraction would take a decision on allowing sand extraction in these areas, the official said.