Udupi (The Hindu): Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLC and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said on Monday that the State government had not made a separate sand policy for the coastal district though it had been promising to do so for over one year.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Poojary said that in 2015-16, the sand extracted in Udupi district was 8,65,690 tonnes, but this came down to just 3,53,000 tonnes in 2016-17. This was less than half of the previous year.
With construction and developmental activities coming to a halt due to lack of sand in Udupi district, the migrant workers working in construction sector, were now returning to their native districts. The shortage of sand was such that it was being sold at three times higher than its price.
The government had earned a royalty of ?2.12 crore due to sand extraction in Udupi district.
As per rules, 25% of the royalty earned should go to the local bodies, from where the sand was extracted, for their developmental works. But so far the local bodies had got nothing.
Mr. Poojary said that though Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimappa had visited the district thrice, the problem of providing title deeds to the poor people in rural and urban areas had still not got solved.
Though 27,000 applications had been received for title deeds so far in the district, only about 1,000 title deeds each had been distributed in the three taluks.
The pendency of applications was a whopping 23,471. Mr. Thimappa had promised a Land Regularisation Committee for the district, there was no movement on that matter either.
Though Forests and Environment Minister, B. Ramananth Rai had repeatedly stated that 34,000 hectares of deemed forest land would be de-notified and a petition would be submitted to the Supreme Court on it, there was no action on it.
Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, there were a total of 1,445 seats in unaided schools in Udupi district, but so far only 658 seats had been given to the applicants. Immediate action should be taken to distribute the remaining seats as the schools would reopen in about a fortnight.
The government had promised to get water from Varahi River to Udupi to solve the city’s water woes. But the assurance had remained only on the paper, Mr. Poojary said.
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