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Goa: Officials crack down on illegal sand mining at Tiracol

The Goan | Updated on: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 10:43 AM IST

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A day after being pulled up by the Bombay High Court at Goa over repeated instances of violation of orders and illegal sand mining especially in the Tiracol River, authorities swung into action and seized 26 boats and raided a sand extraction site.

While officials from the Captain of Ports seized 26 boats from the Tiracol river at Naibag near Poraskade, Pernem police raided a sand extraction site at Devsan-Korgao and seized sand which had been illegally extracted from the Tiracol river.

In the first incident, a joint operation was carried out by Captain of Ports, a Flying Squad and Pernem Police and 26 boats were seized at Naibag-Poraskade for illegally excavating sand from the river.

While six boats were in the river, 20 other boats were stationed along the river banks.

“We had come to take stock of the situation regarding illegal sand activity in the area and we seized 26 boats. We will check if owners of these boats have documents with them. So far, no one has come forward and so we handed over the boats to Pernem police. Operations like this one will continue in future," said an official from the Captain of Ports.

However, locals described the two raids on Tuesday as a publicity stunt, claiming that there were many other boats indulging in similar sand extraction activity and had not been seized.

Some claimed that the two raids were merely a response to the high court’s criticism of authorities for failing to curb illegal sand mining in the Tiracol River.

Locals claim there are about 500 boats involved in sand extraction in several places along the Tiracol and Chapora Rivers, adding that around 5,000 families are dependent on the livelihood.

They sought to know why it had taken officials this long to take the action since illegal excavation has been an issue for several years.

Asked if officials were under pressure from politicians, an official present at the site replied: “There is always political pressure on officials as sand is an important component of the construction business. However, we had given licenses to only 10 boats but dozens of boats were found in the river and we conducted the raid.”

This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan.

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Published on: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 10:43 AM IST