Illegal sand mining on Vrishabhavathi riverbed

Bangalore City

Resident of Rajarajeshwari Nagar complained to BBMP. BBMP calls it an act of poor people.

By Labani Mahanandy

Illegal sand mining is going on in the banks of Vrishabhavathi River near 8th main road, Rajarajeshwari Nagar. The residents witness that every other day.

One of the residents named Dr. Harsha T. R. told The Softcopy, “I have moved here in April, and ever since, I have been witnessing this activity. They are taking trucks full of sand from the river beds.”

“We had threatened them of police some months back. After that they have stopped coming in the daytime. They come early in the morning around 5 a.m. so that no one sees them. But since the place is visible from our building’s windows and balconies, we have seen them”, he added.

The residents said they used to come on a regular basis but after they were warned about the police they come twice or thrice a week now.

They had been complaining about the same to BBMP. This residency is situated just beside the Vrishabhavathi River. After several complaints BBMP Chief Engineer Mr. Prahlad had visited the area and he stated that the residents are “making big fuss” about a small thing.

“It is some poor people who are coming every other day to take sand for their construction purpose. It is not sand mining”, said Mr. Prahlad.

Niveditha, a resident has taken it to social media to start a movement to save and revive ‘Namma Vrishbhavathi Nadi’. She has been tweeting BBMP and BBMP Mayor about this.

“We have been witnessing this since long and had tried to stop it too, but these people come back every other day. I have taken it to social media but no results yet” she said.

Another BBMP Chief Engineer, S. Somashekhara thought it is a small scale affair of taking few handfuls of sand by some villagers. Later he said, “We were not aware of the extent of mining. If lorries full of sand is being mined, then it is absolutely illegal. We will look into the matter.  The residents should complain about it.”

Environmentalist Mr. Akshay Heblikar said, “Riverbed erosion makes surrounding areas prone to flooding. It reduces the natural wealth and capacity of the river to sustain itself. Apart from that, unequal distribution of development across the state leads to these illegal activities. Unless stricter rules and regulations on construction industry is laid, these activities will continue in one place or another.”