Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sand mafia having a field day amid pandemic

Jamshedpur: Sand mafia is having a field day amidst Covid1-9 pandemic despite restrictions on sand mining and lifting.

The restrictions allow sand lifting using vehicles only at select river bed sites. However, there is no express restriction on lifting sand in sacks.

The sand mafia are using this gap for its own benefit in an innovative manner.

A ride through the Marine Drive Road area shows how the sand mafia are making use of the loopholes in government orders and how it is carrying out an illegal trade in broad daylight.

Several big sand dumps can be seen along Marine Drive Road. The organised trade of illegal sand mining and lifting still continues unabated.

Police patrol vehicles keep making rounds of these areas all day long. However, not much has been done yet to curb the illegal trade of sand mining in violation of prescribed rules.

There are check posts at both the bridges of Jamshedpur and police teams are present round the clock at these check posts. However, illegally lifted sand continues to be brought to the city cause huge revenue loss to the state exchequer.

Marine Drive has several slum areas on the other side, which are inhabited by a large number of daily workers. Owing to lockdown impact, a large number of such daily wagers have been rendered jobless.

The sand mafia are using these jobless workers and are paying them for bringing sand in small sacks in lieu of Rs. 10 or 15 per sack.

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Such sacked sand is dumped near their bustees and then supplied to different areas of the city on tractors and tempos.

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Each worker on an average can bring in 25-30 sackfuls of sand. While, this certainly brings some remuneration to the daily wagers, it brings a huge profit to the sand mafia.

Dumps of sand can be seen in different areas near Marine Drive. Despite efforts of the administration to curb illegal lifting of sand, the mafia do find ways to subvert law and rules and continue making profits at the cost of state exchequer.

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