|Sand is being lifted illegally from Peddavagu|
The Peddavagu, for instance, which was a perennial river in the Sirpur (T) constituency, and a major source of drinking water table, fell to 9.6 m in February compared to 8 m in the corresponding period last year.
The drinking water shortage is acute in the tribal areas in the Utnoor and Nirmal divisions compared to other parts of the district.
Majority of the streams and rivulets have dried up much before the summer as they have lost water storage capacity due to indiscriminate sand mining.
Sand mining has been rampant in the river Godavari from Basar to Chennur for many years now, with the sand mafia indirectly controlling the sand business and mining operations in the district.
This has been so desperate the state government’s introduction of the legal auction of sand reachers and officials sale of sand.
Sand mafia is indirectly controlling the sand business and mining in the district. The indiscriminate sand mining was going on unabatedly though the state government introducing legal auction of sand reaches and official sale of sand.
Sand is being lifted from the Peddavagu even in this drought, with the officials turning a blind eye to illegal sand mining continuing in many streams and rivulets these days.
The sand mafia hold the grip on Grampanchayats and village elders by offering some amount and grampanchayats encouraging lifting sand from their streams and rivulets in the name of generating funds for the development of the villages but in turn they were losing their natural resources and becoming victim of their own greedy.
The irony is that farmers of the same grampanchayats which gave permission for lifting sand from the streams and rivulets under its purview facing drinking water problem and not getting sufficient water for their crops due to dried up agriculture wells and bore wells and incurred huge losses.