From ET Realty
PUNE: The Pune district administration has confiscated machinery such as suction pipes, electric motors, earth movers and 40 fibre boats being used for illegal sand mining activities on the bank of Ujani dam.
The administration conducted surprise checks during early morning hours last week to ensure that maximum material was seized. For the first time, the administration destroyed fibre boats and other seized material worth over Rs 1 crore on the spot to ensure that it is not used again.
Sources said the administration has identified similar areas in the district that are vulnerable to illegal sand mining and will carry out checks there in the coming days.
The administration has initiated strict action against illegal sand mining and transportation, which is rampant in rural parts of the district. In the last eight months, over 2,000 cases have been reported. Most cases have been detected around Ujani dam and in river beds.
Authorities intensified action after MLAs representing rural areas raised serious concerns during a recent meeting of the district planning and development council. Guardian minister Girish Bapat had told officials to auction the confiscated vehicles used to transport sand.
A senior official said, “Recent checks in Ujani dam area were taken up based on tip-offs pertaining to illegal sand extraction during the night. We deployed teams to conduct raids in Bhigwan, Palade and Diksal villages as most complaints were received from these areas. The teams reached the spots in the early hours and seized material used for mining. No one was arrested, but the district administration has sent a strong signal by destroying confiscated equipment.”
The administration will also deploy more staff to conduct frequent checks in areas along the Pune-Solapur highway. The teams will take assistance of the local administration and police.