(Juhi Aishwary, Intern Journalist): The closure of all sand mines in Madhya Pradesh has led to mafia silver. Mafia is active in every river of the state. About one thousand dumper sand is being extracted daily secretly from the Narmada river alone. It is being sold in the border areas of Sehore, Bhopal, Raisen, Hoshangabad, and other districts. Out of this, on an average 400 dumper sand is coming to Bhopal every day. 300 dumpers are being stocked. An all-night sand-hopper runs on the National Highway-69 (Obedullaganj-Nagpur).
This situation of sand theft from MP rivers is when the borders of Bhopal district are sealed due to Corona infection and the police is doing duty 24 hours. If we talk about the sand coming from all the rivers of the state, then about 1600 damper sand is being stolen every day.
Mafia selling at doubles the price
3500 to 4000 dumper sand reaches the market every day in the state, but in 1450 mines auctioned by the Mineral Corporation, the mafia became active when the shortage of sand started due to non-excavation and lockdown. Sand is being extracted from all the rivers of the state including Narmada, Chambal, Parvati, Betwa. The price of sand coming secretly is also arbitrary.
Mafia is selling dumper sand for Rs 18 to 20 thousand for 32 to 36 thousand rupees. Talking about Bhopal, an average of 400 dumper sand is coming here every day. Out of this, only 100 damper sand goes to the market. The remaining sand is being stocked in view of the rains so that it can be sold at arbitrary prices after the closure of the rivers’ ghats during the rainy season. Significantly, the ghats will be closed for three months from June 15. Then the shortage of sand will increase further.
Double hit on government
The mafia has always been active in the sand business of the state, but their current activism is also overshadowed by the state government. The government’s economic situation is already bad. Corona has also broken her back. In such a situation, if the sand was expected to get big revenue, then the mafia took over. Now in this case, if the government does not hurry, then those who take the mines on contract for three years will also raise their hands.
The Mineral Policy of the MP Government has become a stumbling block. The department made various arrangements including monitoring of sand trucks, GPS, portal to curb the stolen sand, but now nothing is working. Due to Corona infection, the staff of the department is also in the houses, which are taking advantage of the mafia.