Mira-Bhayandar: Cosmetic Action Against Sand Mafia At Ghodbunder Creek

Mira-Bhayandar: Cosmetic Action Against Sand Mafia At Ghodbunder Creek

The seized sand was pushed back into the creek with the help of JCB’s provided by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Friday, August 25, 2023, 07:48 PM IST
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Prompted by complaints from locals, officials from the revenue department acted against illegal sand dredging activities that were being carried out at Ghodbunder Creek in Kashimira on Thursday. However, the action was limited to the seizure of a small quantity of 32 brass of sand (1.47 lakh kg) and 56 brass of crushed stone powder. The weight of one cubic meter of sand is 1650kg. One brass is equal to 2.831 cubic meter. The weight of 1 brass of sand is equal to 1650 multiplied by 2.831, which equals 4671kg.

While eight people on whose plots the material was recovered have been named in the action taken report (ATR) submitted by the talathi to the upper tehsildar for further action, the team mysteriously failed to find any mechanical devices including suction pumps or engine (diesel) pumps used to wash the illegally dredged sand.

Seized sand was pushed back into the creek

The seized sand was pushed back into the creek with the help of JCBs provided by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). However, an offence in this context is yet to be registered at the local police station against the perpetrators. Such illegal activities not only cause huge revenue losses to the state exchequer, but the impact that it has on the environment and ecology is far graver which invites action under section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code, section 48 (8) of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966 and provisions of the Environment Act for illegal extraction of minerals.

Thousands of tonnes of sand is being illegally mined

The upper tehsildar remained unavailable for comments on the issue. Despite judicial restrictions on sand mining activities, without requisite clearances, it is business as usual for the powerful sand mafia in Thane and Palghar districts, as plundering natural resources by extracting huge quantities of sand continues unabated in the Ghodbunder Creek and other sand-rich spots in the Vasai-Virar belt using barges and boats. Apart from once in a blue-moon action, the administration is virtually shying away from a major crackdown to rein in the politically influential mafia as thousands of tonnes of sand is being illegally mined to meet the rising demand of the construction industry.

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