The Hyderabad High Court faulted the revenue authorities of Kurnool district in Andhra on Tuesday for not being able to successfully prevent or curb illegal sand mining along the banks of river Handri.
According to reports, a PIL was filed alleging that authorities were turning a blind eye towards ongoing illegal sand mining in three villages in Kurnool district.
The court ruled in favour of the petitioners, and told the authorities to take steps to prevent such incidents.
Andhra is no stranger to sand mining.
Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to ensure that there was no mechanical sand mining on the riverbeds in the states.
The order came after an NGO filed a petition with photographic evidence on illegal mining occurring in major rivers like Krishna, Godavari, Vamsadhara, Penna, Pranahita and their tributaries.
“Both the states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shall file affidavits of Secretaries concerned as it is specifically contended by the applicant that largescale illegal and unauthorised mining is going on in both the States. In the meanwhile we restrain both the States, any corporation, authority or person for carrying on mechanical mining in the river bed,” the NGT bench said.
Last year, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu suggested that sand be supplied for free, to curb mining.
"The government was considering supplying sand without any restrictions, Steps would be taken that the free sand was not illegally shipped out of the state," the government said after a meeting.
Illegal sand mining has been thriving in the state for the past few years.
The TDP government, soon after assuming power in June 2014, entrusted the sand mining and selling responsibility to women self-help groups and introduced an online system.
The system apparently failed as sand continued to be sold at exorbitant prices due to increased construction activity in the state.