Il­le­gal sand min­ing con­tin­ues at Kharghar, 3 trucks seized

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Even as the po­lice and the tehsil­dar of­fi­cials claim to have taken ev­ery pos­si­ble step to stop il­le­gal sand min­ing, it is still go­ing on at Kharghar.

On Thurs­day, the po­lice seized three trucks from one il­le­gal min­ing site along Vas­tu­vi­har creek. While one truck was loaded with sand, the other two were empty.

Act­ing on a tip-off, the po­lice raided the site. How­ever, the cul­prits got to know about it and they fled be­fore the po­lice reached the spot.

“A res­i­dent in­formed us about the il­le­gal min­ing at that place around 3.30pm and we im­me­di­ately dis­patched a team to ar­rest the cul­prits. But our of­fi­cials found only three trucks there,” said Dilip Kale, se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor of Kharghar po­lice sta­tion.

“No suc­tion ma­chine or other equip­ment were found at the site. I think the cul­prits ran away with all those as soon as they learnt about the im­pend­ing raid. We have reg­is­tered a case un­der sec­tions 379 and 34 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code (IPC) against the uniden­ti­fied cul­prits,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice offic- ers, the main ac­cused be­hind such min­ing are mostly out­siders and they hardly come to the spots. They hire labour­ers for dredg­ing sand and pay them call­ing them to other places.

“Nor­mally, they hire labour­ers who do not have much idea about the city. Mi­grated Bangladeshis seem to be their first pref­er­ence as they are ready to work for lower wages com­pared to the In­dian labour­ers. Such rack­ets are still strong in ar­eas such as Pen, Roha, Uran and Ma­had,” a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer said.

Just one- and- a- half month ago, the Taloja po­lice ar­rested a 45-year-old man for il­le­gal sand min­ing in their area. Equip­ment worth Rs10,000 and sand worth Rs45,000 were seized f rom the spot.

ACT­ING ON A TIP-OFF, THE PO­LICE RAIDED THE SITE. BUT, THE CUL­PRITS GOT TO KNOW ABOUT IT AND FLED THE SPOT

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