Kundapur, September 22: An incident is reported to have occurred at Kundapur; early in the morning in which laborers hailing from north-Karnataka who were collecting sand from the banks of Panchagangavalli river were assaulted and their boat filled with sand was drowned in the river. A plaint is lodged at Kundapur Police station.
The internal conflict between local fishermen and sand miners conflict that lasted since sometime outburst today. Just a few days ago, the local fishermen had a conflict with the sand-miners, stating that due to mining; the ditches are created in the river which has failed their traps to attract fishes and they are suffering losses due to this. Throughout the ring road in Panchagangavalli sand miners have structured artificial barriers due to which they are to park their boats hence they had urged sub-divisional officers, Thasildhar, Departments of Municipality and Environment. But went fruitless and hence they have attacked on the labourers who went on sand-mining in Panchagangavali, it is said. Responding to this, the sand miners said that, according to the law applicable; government royalty are paid and permission from the government is sought and the mining is carried out fairly. But some are avenging their personal revenge by opposing us. We are carrying this business as per the law in order to make our living by borrowing loans and the unnecessarily the people are taking the law into their hands and requested to provide protection to them, it is complained. In case the sand mining is banned, let them ban in all areas; we are carrying out the business according to the law, and why this bias is done, they queried.
As an over-view of sand-mining in this area, since a past few years the sand-mining which out-broke suddenly was carried out illegally in the beginning. The river banks close to Kundapur and estuaries, which were yielding hot cash to the miners which later turned to a competition among them and later proved the cause for clashes.
But when Bellary mining enterprises created a renaissance in the whole the government tightened the law, the sand-mining too came under the mining industry there by the illegal operators had to abide by the law without any other option. Even though they possess the permit, the eve seekers allege that they are breaking the law by providing false accounts of the loads of sand and there by carrying on an illegal mining.
The rivers here are mostly salt-water and consisting of saline sand was price-less few years ago; but when construction racket began to flourish endlessly; this saline sand turned to be golden-sand.