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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 19 June 2024 6.50 PM IST

Government order to remove accumulated sand worth over one thousand crore rupees in 18 rivers goes unheeded

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PATHANAMTHITTA: Months after the order to remove sand worth more than one thousand crore rupees accumulated in 18 rivers, no action has been taken. After surveying 32 rivers, it was decided to add sand to 18 rivers.

The construction sector had high hopes after it was decided to resume sand dredging, which was banned 10 years ago. But it is alleged that officials are subverting the government order as a connivance to the rock dust lobby.

A load of sand from Tamil Nadu to Thiruvananthapuram is charged between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1 lakh on trucks.

In the order issued in January, it was suggested to dredge sand from March to May when the rivers dry up. If the rivers are filled with heavy rains, dredging will become difficult. The only action taken was to fix eight ghats on the Malappuram side of the Chaliyar River.

During the great flood of 2018, a huge amount of sand was deposited in the rivers. The Institute of Land and Disaster Management (ILDM) conducted a survey to detect sand deposits. Based on that report, it was decided to dredge sand. It was decided to auction it after collecting it on the shores.

18 rivers

Karamana, Vamanapuram, Neyyar, Kalladayar, Achankovil, Pampa, Meenachil, Muvattupuzha, Periyar, Chalakudy, Karuvannur, Ancharakandi, Chaliyar, Chandragiri, Ithikkara, Kabani, Kadalundi, Kuttyadi.

A load of 25 tonnes from Tamil Nadu is charged Rs 1 lakh. The Tamil Nadu lobby argues that dredging will reduce the risk of flooding.

Another advantage of sand dredging is that it increases the storage capacity of rivers and reduces the possibility of flooding.

"As part of sand removal, meetings of officials were held in all districts. It was prolonged after the parliamentary elections. The maximum amount of sand falls before the monsoon."

- K. Rajan, Revenue Minister

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