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Action against sand-mining in Korayar sought

Staff Reporter

Petition submitted to Palakkad Revenue Divisional Officer

PALAKKAD: The Bharathapuzha Samrakshana Samithy in a petition to the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), Palakkad, has demanded stern action against the `sand mafia' which is engaging in illegal and destructive sand mining from Korayar, a tributary of the Bharathapuzha.

The sand-mining is going on using pump sets to drain out the river water. Daily 50 truckloads of sand is taken out from the river at Pudussery panchayat near here. This sand-mining has also destroyed aquatic life and resulted in the death of large quantity of river fish, the samithy organising secretary, P.S. Panikkar, said.

He said that the Revenue Department and the police are not taking any action against this sand-mining. The river is already facing destruction due to encroachment and pollution from industrial waste.

He said that the anti-sand mining squad formed under the tahsildars have not been effective. In many cases, information of raids is given to the `mafia' in advance so that they can stop the operations before raids are conducted, Dr. Panikkar alleged.

He said that in many places the deep ponds formed in the river due to mining has become a death trap for those who come to bath in the river or cross it to reach the other side.

The sand-mining has also resulted in drying up of the wells on the banks of the river creating acute drinking water problem in Pudussery panchayat, the Samithy petition pointed out.

A ban on sand-mining in the Bharathapuzha and its tributaries has been a longstanding demand of the people living on the banks of the river for quite long.

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