Economy

Illegal sand mining: Offenders to be booked under organised crime act

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 16, 2012 Published on July 16, 2012




People carrying out illegal sand mining in Maharashtra will be booked under the stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), said Mr Prakash Solanke, Minister of State for Revenue.

Usually the stringent act is pressed against hardened criminals and terrorists.

During the question hour in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Mr Solanke said MCOCA would be pressed against the offenders involved in illegal sand mining. To stop illegal sand mining, special flying squads have been formed.

Mr Jitendra Awhad, MLA, said that in Thane district there is an organised illegal business of excavating sand from the sea and the creeks. Such excavations can weaken railways bridges, which have been laid across various creeks in the district. It could lead to loss of human lives.

“Illegal mining is happening because the Police and Revenue officials are in cahoots with members of the sand mafia. Without their consent, illegal mining is not possible. Therefore, stringent acts like MCOCA should be pressed against such criminals,” he said. Speaker Mr Dilip Walse Patil pointed out that even the process of sand auctions is being rigged by the sand mafias operating in the State. These mafias have also committed murders. Even where sand is excavated legally, royalties are not being paid properly to the State Government. “If 10 brass of sand is excavated, then royalty for only one brass is paid by the contractors,” he said.

Brass is a unit for measuring quantity of sand.

rahulw@thehindu.co.in

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Published on July 16, 2012
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