The sand mining in the River Vainganga “Ghats” (excavation areas) in Bhandara District is going on and flourishing illegally since June this year. The auction period for mining of the sand has come to an end in June itself. But truckloads of sand is being excavated and transported thus questioning the roles of police, revenue department and transport department officials in this dubious dealing of sand. The Government coffers have already been dented by Rs 10 crore and if the state of affairs allowed by the “greedy” authorities, more loss to Government could be anticipated, reliable sources said. Nagpur City is the main market of this illegal sand mining, according to sources.
Similarly, according to sources, illegal sand mining is going on without fear but with a favour at Sura River areas since the past 4 years. The illegally mined sand is stocked clandestinely at “darker” places and then at opportune time, supplied to Nagpur’s booming real estate business. The sand mining has given birth to dozens of big and small mafias and also to serious crimes. The Mohgaon Sarpanch was eliminated by the sand mafias for “interfering” in their illegal actions and a local leader was thrashed black and blue by the sand criminals for the same reason. Still no firm action was initiated against the mafias points out “neck deep involvement” of police, revenue department and transport department officials along with bigwig politicians in the illegal sand mining, sources said.
NO WAITING FOR AUCTIONS:
According to court and Government directives, No Objection Certificate from Environment Ministry is mandatory for sand auction and the subsequent excavation. Without Environment NOC, sand auction is not at all possible. But the mafias do not wait for any auction and go for illegal sand mining which is touching the peak with concerned authorities turning a blind eye to their activities, the sources said.
However, one of the sand dealers advocated sand mining by the local youths at every “Ghat” and for that matter, the Government should provide them Royalty Passbook. The youths should not be allowed sand mining without Royalty Passbook. This move will fetch the Government a revenue in crores, the local youths would get employment, and most importantly, the law and order could be maintained, said the sand dealer on the condition of anonymity.