Hundreds of persons seeking permits for sand flocked the PWD office in city yesterday and submitted applications for sand transportation permits.

It is alleged that the sand mafia, after creating an artificial scarcity of sand, the quintessential commodity for construction, charged more than double the normal price and those undertaking construction works had no other option but to pay through their noses.

Following several complaints that sand was being transported illegally, Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha, along with Assistant Commissioner Basavaraju and officials of the Mines and Geology Department, conducted an early morning raid last week at T. Narasipuira checkpost, where they seized 303 sand-laden trucks which were distributed among the sand-consumers on the spot at regular prices.

Sand consumers are given permits directly by the PWD for which the applicants need to submit diagram of the house under construction, Aadhar card, photograph and a DD for Rs. 4,000 drawn in favour of the PWD (this excludes the lorry transportation charge).

More than 400 persons have applied for sand at the PWD office since the past two days. However, there is not enough stock of sand at the yard at present and since the river is in spate, it is not possible to extract sand from the river banks that are submerged.

PWD Engineer Krishnamurthy said the existing stock of sand will be distributed on first-come-first-serve basis and the remaining applicants will be given sand after the river level recedes.

An applicant said that though this system had checked the mafia from over-charging the customers, those who intend to submit applications have to face a lot of inconveniences by way of waiting in queue for hours. Besides, applications are accepted only till afternoon, he said.

However, the lorry owners’ grouse is that though the transport tariff was fixed an year ago, diesel prices have gone up several times and hence, the tariff must be revised.

Mysore District Rural Lorry Owners’ Association President N. Lingaraju said the DC has expressed concern towards the lorry owners’ problems and has assured to convene a meeting of officials soon and discuss the issue.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore