The Bombay High Court bench in Goa on Thursday slammed the state police and administration for not doing enough to rein in the sand mafia from pilfering sand from the state’s rivers illegally.
The court has now directed the police to seize and destroy unregistered canoes and impound the trucks which illegally transport sand, and to install CCTV cameras at illegal sand mining sites.
“The authorities, who were duty-bound to prevent this sand mining, do not appear to be seriously interested in implementing the orders made by us from time to time. According to us, the persons involved in illegal sand mining are out to hoodwink the authorities. Unfortunately, we find that in many cases even the authorities appear to be too eager to be hoodwinked,” Justices M.S. Sonak and M.S. Jawalkar said in their order, while hearing a petition filed by Goa Foundation.
“The police authorities, in particular, are most lax when it comes to preventing illegal and unauthorised sand mining. The Director General of Police (DGP) must issue strict instructions to the concerned police stations to render all possible cooperation to the authorities taking steps to prevent illegal sand mining,” the order said.
“The DGP should also issue strict instructions to all the concerned police stations to attend to the complaints about illegal sand mining, promptly. There are instances where the police authorities simply refuse to come to the sites. The DGP is expected to take action against the police officials who indulge in this type of dereliction of duties,” it added.
The court has also directed the state administration to install CCTVs near illegal mining hotspots to ensure that sand is not illegally mined.
“These canoes have no good reason to remain parked on Government property. The Government also has no good reason to permit such canoes to be parked on its property, particularly when these properties appear to be hot-spots for illegal sand mining,” the HC order also said.