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.