Udupi: The southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Chennai has prohibited the sale of sand extracted from CRZ areas for commercial use.
The tribunal, in its order on May 18, held that the same extracted from CRZ can only be used to level the low-lying areas of the river bed, sand nourishment in beaches, and strengthen the river bunds.
In its order dated May 18, the NGT categorized the state government issuing permits, collecting royalty, and allowing the sale of sand from CRZ as akin to “sand mining” prohibited in the notification concerned.
The tribunal also prohibited the practice of subletting the permits. Only permit holders or families that are traditionally involved in sand extraction can extract sand from sand blocks. NGT also prohibited the use of contracted labor for extracting the sand.
So far 23 sand dunes have been identified by the state CRZ authority in Udupi. Sand is being extracted from 19 of these dunes as the permits for the 4 dunes in Kundapur have already expired.
Meanwhile, Udupi DC Kurma Rao has said that the district administration is yet to get a certified copy of NGT’s latest order. But he assured the public that the orders of the tribunal will be strictly followed.