Meeting in city today to resolve sand extraction issues

Minister for Mines and Geology C.C. Patil on Wednesday said that a high-level meeting will be held in Mangaluru on Thursday to address issues concerning sand extraction in the coastal districts of the State.

The meeting would involve participation of elected representatives, Deputy Commissioners and senior officials of the department in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, the Minister said while addressing newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party-supported candidates to gram panchayats of Karkala taluk.

The Minister said that he had had several rounds of meetings with elected representatives of coastal districts to address concerns over sand mining, in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) as well as non-CRZ. He said that issues pertaining to CRZ sand extraction have almost been addressed and Thursday’s meeting would strive to address other issues.

Mr. Patil said that he has directed senior officials from the department, including Principal Secretary Kumara Naik and Director D.S. Ramesh, to attend the meeting since Dakshina Kannada MP and State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel too would be present at the meeting. It was being done to ensure clarity on issues. He said that he did not want to face a situation where officials backtrack on their word once they were in Bengaluru and cite new technical reasons. Interacting with representatives of Crusher and Lorry Owners Association at the MLA’s office in Karkala, Mr. Patil said that clarity on the issue of deemed forest that was affecting quarrying was expected to emerge after the Supreme Court gives its ruling on the issue.

‘Don’t lobby for posts’

Karkala MLA and Chief Whip of the government in the Assembly V. Sunil Kumar on Wednesday cautioned elected gram panchayat members backed by the BJP not to lobby for panchayat president and vice-president posts.

District BJP president Kuilady Suresh Nayak said that the party would felicitate all victorious party-backed candidates at the Gram Sevak Samavesh to be held in Udupi on January 12.

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