Administration fumbles over figures

Illegal sand

Illegal sand mining: Department officials say as the process is decentralised, they do not have consolidated figures; they will be able to furnish numbers only if taluka branch offices give details

Even as several cases of illegal sand ferrying has come to light in the district, the district administration, which has decentralised the sand-mining department, is unable to furnish figures.

A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by The Indian Express on cases of illegal mining and ferrying of sand shows most talukas not having the figures, and others having no cases at all.

While officials at Indapur, Baramati, Daund and Shirur have stated there are no such cases, only Junnar officials have given details of cases.

Officials at the main office maintain that they do not have any consolidated figures and only if the taluka branch offices give details would they be able to furnish any figures.

"The process is decentralised. We do not have any such figures at all. If the office gives us an update, we record it in the main office,'' said sand mining officials from the district administration. A few days ago, revenue officials from the district collectorate, impounded 40 trucks for transporting sand from Ghod and Bhima river basins in Shirur taluka, and a similar drive was recently carried out in Mulshi taluka.

"We are carrying out drives and are seizing material. There are plenty of cases... It is time these get reported,'' said Maval Sub Divisional Officer Sanjay Patil who recently conducted a drive.

Senior officials from other talukas said they lack the adequate machinery to carry out the drive. "We do not have the requisite staff,'' said another official. The recent drive at Shirur saw a team of 20 operate with the help of police to impound the vehicles.

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