Craters In Vamasadhara Riverbed Caused By Sand Mining, A Shocking Sight  

16 Dec, 2018 09:37 IST|Sakshi
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy   

Devadi, Srikakulam district: I began my Padayatra today recalling the memorable, indelible contribution of the unifier of our nation, the great Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and crusader for a separate Telugu State, Potti Sriramulu, and paying homage to them on the occasion of their death anniversaries.

My walkathon went past the Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University College at Naira. Students of the university college, who have been protesting for the past four days met me there.

They told me that the government had not filled up a single job vacancy in over four years. Thousands of students who came out of colleges each year were left jobless, they said. At the same time, even though they they don’t fulfil the eligibility criteria, many colleges were given permission by this TDP government, they complained. Permissions of this indiscriminate nature were purely for kickbacks and commissions, they said. The students also pointed out that all these private colleges belonged to TDP leaders, and that over Rs.10 lakhs were being collected from students as fees. The students said that the government was feeding competition by giving permissions to private colleges which did not meet eligibility criteria. The TDP government was contributing to the unemployment problem in this manner, they complained.

I stepped into the constituency of Narasannapeta, a centre of high quality bronze artefacts and material. This place also produced the great Garimella Satyanarayana, freedom fighter and poet, remembered for the timeless song, “maakoddu ee tella doratanam.”

In the afternoon I crossed the Vamsadhara river as I entered Narsannapeta constituency. It pains me to see the riverbed dug up completely forming huge craters everywhere. It was equally shocking to see paths laid for heavy vehicles in the riverbed right up to the river! Villagers informed me that sand mining was at its highest point in the district in this area. The sand mafia ruled the roost here with hundreds of vehicles and heavy equipment to excavate sand.

They were always in a state of fear as hundreds of vehicles involved in sand mining rumbled on endlessly through this place, disturbing the peace of the area. What is worse is that several complaints to officials on this matter went unheeded, they lamented. When the river got flooded earlier, over 40 heavy vehicles, JCBs and hundreds of workers digging sand from the riverbed found themselves trapped. Nature caught these bandits who were looting the state, where officials failed to do so, the villagers said. What can be a more glaring example of the rampant loot through sand mining by the rulers?

I have a question for the chief minister—for four years, you have been a close ally of the BJP at the Centre. During this time, you tried to bury the cause of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Now, to justify your immoral pact with the Congress you are talking about special category status, while the Congress is comically trying to take the high moral ground saying they would give SCS! Is this not the height of hypocrisy and the depths to which you can stoop?

Also Read:Rampant Sand Mining Patronised By Top TDP Leaders Wreaking Havoc

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