Hyderabad: The Vigilance and Enforcement Department has exposed the role of the Industries and Commerce Department in sand looting in the state.
In its report filed with Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty, the Vigilance department stated that industries and commerce department officials freely doled out seized sand stocks to miners by extending lease periods which had already expired.
The act of releasing seized sand stocks to miners has caused a loss of Rs14 crore, as per the existing market rate, to the government. “Despite having knowledge that the sand was seized by vigilance, it was given away to miners whose licence had got expired,” said the report.
Vigilance officials recently inspected large quantities of sand in stockyards of lease holders of Kotipalli, Korumilli, Kapilswarapuram, VemagiriKadiyapulanka and Muggalla sand reaches in East Godavari district.
Around eight sand stockyards of five sand leaseholders were inspected and licences of the same were found to have expired. The stocks were handed over to the respective tahsildars.
The leaseholders were identified as Sayeed Rabbani of Kotipalli, Siri Sand Company of Korumilli and Kapileswarapuram, Sunkara Venkata Ramana of VemagiriKadiyapulanka and Garapati Gangaram Chowdary of Muggalla.
It was found that all the leases had expired in June 2013 and 2.49 lakh cubic metre of sand was seized. At the stockyards of Victory Traders at Atreyapuram and V.V. Naveen Kumar of Ankampalem, 52,752 cubic metre of sand was seized.
According to the rules, sand left over after the lease period is the property of the government and lease holders will not have any right over the same.
District collector of East Godavari district instructed the district water management agency project director to immediately allot the seized sand to the construction works being executed by the government departments on payment of rates.
However, the lease holders applied for an extension of their mineral dealer licences.