Dharmana’s benami sand mining in Srikakulam, Vamshadhara basin
The antics of the sand mafia has touched its pinnacle in the Vamshadhara river basin with the nexus of Congress district leaders who are allegedly the benami of the minister Dharmana Prasada Rao.
A benami had got the sand contract for Yeragam sand ramp in Sarabujjili mandal on the river for just Rs.2.02 crore even though he was a white ration card holder bearing the number of WAP 0181045C0523 in the 45th ward of Srikakulam town and that his annual income was just Rs.19,000. He is said to be a camp follower of former local municipal Councillor Burra Venkat Rao.
Recent mid night spot inspection by the district collector Venkatrami Reddy had led to seizure of 130 lorry loads of sand being loaded and also seized a proclain machine on the Vamshadhara banks. But all the lorries had vanished by morning and it was also revealed that the ex- Councillor was illegally mining sand in 30 more acres of survey no 158 and 159 in addition to the 4.5 hactres of survey no 160 alloted to him as per a inspection report by the Srikakulam RDO Satyanarayana.
Since sand licenses expire by end of March 31st, all contractors were mining sand indiscriminately in huge quantities. Particularly in Yerragam sand ramp, day and night sand mining is done by contractors as sand auctioning was cancelled last year. Revenue officials had last week seized four proclains but sand mining continued indiscriminately by contractors in total disregard of authorities.