Mangaluru: According to satellite remote sensing, GIS by NITK-Surathkal and a bathymetry survey by a private agency, 22 sand bars have been identified in rivers under the Coastal Regulation Zone. However, the district administration is likely to allow sand extraction only in 12 sand bars as permitted by the Karnataka State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA).
The Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil said that the authority has informed him that sand extraction could be allowed only in 12 identified sand bars in Phalguni (Gurupura) and Netravathi Rivers. The DC is also the chairman of District Sand Monitoring Committee.
Upon request by the district administration, a team from the Applied Mechanics Department of the National Institute of Technology Surathkal, undertook the task of identifying sand bars as per Sustainable Management Guidelines 2016 and compute the volume of sand available for extraction in individual bars. The team identified 13 sand bars in Netravathi having about 4.3 lakh tonnes of sand and nine bars in Phalguni with 4.2 lakh tonnes of sand to provide a draft of 1.5m to fishing and tourist vessels.
The DC explained that the administration already has the database of traditional sand extractors, who were doing the work before 2011, and permits would be issued only to such persons.
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Motorised boats and machinery use banned
Mr Senthil said that the ban on use of machinery and motorised boats to extract and load sand will strictly be enforced. Sand extraction will be permitted to provide a safe channel of 1.5m draft for tourist and fishing vessels and not at the entire length and breadth of the rivers, he added.
The district administration is making every effort to reduce sand extraction and thereby protect the already battered coastal eco-system, due to the ease of extraction, lack of strict monitoring and cheap labour.