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Karnataka: Illegal sand mining rampant in Yadgiri, authorities accused of negligence on Krishna river

Illegal sand mining in Karnataka's Yadgiri district, particularly along the Krishna River, has reached alarming levels. Despite widespread unauthorized activities and transportation, the administration appears ineffective in curbing the menace. Allegations of political influence hindering crackdowns and officials benefiting from bribes have surfaced. The exorbitant cost of transporting sand and the resumption of mining in banned areas raise concerns about corruption. The situation demands urgent attention and intervention.

Karnataka: Illegal sand mining rampant in Yadgiri, authorities accused of negligence on Krishna river vkp
First Published Jan 12, 2024, 4:17 PM IST

Illegal sand mining has reached alarming levels in Karnataka’s Yadgiri district, with sand thieves exploiting the natural wealth of the Krishna River unabated. Despite the prevalence of this illicit activity in villages such as Kollur (M), Hayyal, Tonnur, Goudur, Aikour, and Godenur, the administration seems ineffective in curbing the growing menace.

The riverbanks of Krishna witness a daily procession of thousands of tippers carrying illegally mined sand, passing through the check post near Hattigodur. Astonishingly, the administration appears to have turned a blind eye to this unauthorized mining and transportation, even in the absence of proper licenses.

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Dozens of JCBs are actively involved in depositing sand into the riverbed, and in the Tonnur region of the Krishna River, a separate dirt road has been constructed at a considerable cost to facilitate this illegal activity.

Allegations of political influence hindering the crackdown on illegal sand mining and transportation have surfaced, with rumours suggesting that authorities are hesitant to intervene due to external pressures. Social activist Hanumanta Bhangi asserts that certain officials in Shahpur and Bhimaraya Gudi areas are benefiting from pre-arranged bribes, further exacerbating the issue.

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The exorbitant cost of transporting illegally mined sand from Krishna River to Bidar, estimated at Rs 4 to 5 lakhs, raises concerns about the prevalence of corruption in the system. Tipper owners claim that failure to pay the 'Hafta' (bribe) results in authorities seizing their vehicles, creating an environment of complicity.

The recent resumption of sand mining in Kollur (M), Shahapur taluk, despite a ban due to the discovery of the world-famous Kohinoor diamond, is particularly alarming. Numerous tippers have descended upon the river, with an alleged 60-40 per cent distribution of earnings between contractors and supporters, respectively.

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