Mangaluru, July 10: Despite the pouring rain, a huge crowd led by Civil Contractors’ Association, Mangaluru protested in front of Deputy Commissioners office here against the scarcity of sand in the district on Thursday, July 9th.
Prior to the protest meet, the protesters went on a march from Clock Tower and to the DC’s office.
V Mayya, chairman of Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India), addressing the protesters said, frequent reminders were given to the state government but so far no action has been taken. Only when we stop the work for months, they realize our importance. The prices of cement and crushed stones have increased but we kept quiet. Now, efforts are being made to snatch our rights on sand. The quality of sand found in the district is very high which is not found elsewhere in the state. Since the past three months, 40,000 loads of illegal sand have been transported to other states and districts. In a day only 200 loads of sand are allowed to be transported but 500 loads of sand are illegally transported, he said.
Since the people’s representatives are not taking any actions, we have gathered here to protest and fight for our rights, he said.
Purushotham Kottary, president of Civil Contractors’ Association in Mangaluru said, in the district there is a huge scarcity of sand due to which the ongoing constructions are affected. From the past 20 days, no construction is going on and labourers are jobless. We have spoken to the district incharge minister and MLAs but no alternative has been taken to supply sand.
The district administration has 12,000 tonnes of sand kept as a reserve which has to be released immediately. In the district, a load of sand cost Rs 4000 to Rs 6000. Whereas, the same is sold for Rs 40,000 – Rs 60,000 in other districts. The increased demand and illegal sand transportation, has caused scarcity of sand in the district.
A memorandum was also submitted by the Civil Contractors’ Association to the deputy commissioner after the protest.