Curb illegal sand mining: HC

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has directed Divisional Commissioners of Nagpur and Amravati revenue divisions to constitute a special squad consisting of police officers and mining department officials to curb this menace. The court has taken a serious notice of sand mafia activities going on without any fear of law enforcement agencies, A division bench headed by Justice Bhushan Gavai while hearing a PIL filed by Anil Agre, directed the top revenue officials to crack whip against illegal sand excavation and its clandestine transportation. During last hearings, the High Court had directed the Nagpur District Collector to form special squads and conduct surprise raids, particularly during night time when illegal sand excavation takes place. In his detailed affidavit, District Collector Sachin Kurve stated that pursuant to March 29 order, the special squads were constituted on April 5 and they conducted several raids across all sand ghats and kept a close watch. At Ramadongri an illegal pathway created was destroyed and all revenue, police and mining officials have been directed to keep a close vigil on sand mining and take strict action against sand mafia and illegal transportation. Adv Shreerang Bhandarkar appeared for the petitioner while APP Mehroz Pathan represented the state.