Anantapur: Illegal Sand mining continues unabated in  Anantapur  district, under the garb of legal tenders given by the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government. In a  recent case YSR Kadapa TDP MLC Mareddy Ravindranath Reddy known as  'B tech' Ravi's brother Jogi Reddy has been indulging in indiscriminate sand mining in Lingareddypalli in  YallaNuru Mandal, Anantapur district. It is alleged that he had procured  sand mining and auction of sand reaches  from the government  in the farm land of two farmers  Ranganayakulu and Kullayappa . After obtaining rights he has been indulging in sand mining against the prescribed rules and regulations and digging deeper  than the permissible limits and illegally transporting sand. It is alleged that since he is the MLC's brother the Government officials are turning a  blind eye and letting Jogi Reddy  go out of fear of his brother.

Mining and auction of sand reaches

It is reported that there were huge sand dunes in  6.75 acres of land belonging  to two farmers  Ranganayakulu and Kullayappa under the Mallagundla Village Revenue  bearing survey no 114–2, 112–1,9 . They applied for licences to transport  sand in their farms and the Government officials after conducting a survey granted permission to dig sand only in 2.09 acres of the land  and that too to dig only 6 meters deep and extract 50, 750 Cubic Meters of sand only .
But the TDP leaders have  violated the government regulations and started digging 30 feet ( 9.5 meters) and extracting sand using  heavy mining machinery  which is also prohibited and transporting it. Not only were they digging in their farm land, but  they were also trespassing into barren and vacant lands located between farm lands near the Chitravathi river and illegally digging sand there too.
Local farmers are worried and are expressing fear that this could create trenches in the rest of the farm land and this would be a  major problem during rainfall.

AP Water, Land and Tree Act of 2002

It is said that the sand mined in the Yallanuru Mandal  reaches are being illegally sent to Bengaluru in Karnataka . On a daily basis more that 50 to 60 ten-wheeler lorries and the cost of each lorry of sand is around RS 50,000 which are carrying around 1000 Cubic Meters of sand  flouting all ground rules pertaining to the Water, Land and Tree Act of 2002 (WALTA Act)
In 2002, the Andhra Pradesh government enacted the Water, Land and Tree Act which aimed to protect surface and groundwater resources, promote water conservation, regulate ground and surface water use, protect land and the environment and prohibit sand mining in areas where groundwater is over exploited. It does not allow mining within 500 metre of any groundwater extraction structure, or structures like bridges, dams and weirs.

The Act permits sand mining from streams and rivers where the thickness of sand is more than eight metre. Here, sand can be removed up to two metres. Mining is restricted in places where the thickness of sand is more than three metre but less than eight metre. Mining is banned in areas where the thickness of sand is less than two metre. Use of heavy mining machinery is also prohibited. (source: www.downtoearth.org.in )

But these rules are openly being flouted by the TDP leaders  and it  is a clear case of TDP leaders - farmers- contractors-builders and government  sand mafia which is affecting the farm land in the Rayalseema region.

Also Read: Vijayasai Reddy Slams TDP Over Land Scams In Anantapur