Goa govt mulls installing GPS on sand-carrying trucks

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Panaji, Apr 26: Goa government is contemplating installing Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on trucks carrying sand in a bid to curb instances of illegal extractions, a senior official said today.

"We are thinking of installing GPS on trucks carrying sand from different places. This will help us to identify the places where sand is sourced from and also will keep a tab on overloading," Goa Mines and Geology Director Prasanna Acharya told reporters today.

Goa mulls installing GPS on trucks

The state government has already identified several sites where sand extraction activity can take place in a controlled manner. "We have identified certain blocks," he said.

Acharya said the sand extractors have been given an opportunity to submit their documents for the legal compliance.

"This is the last month. After this month we will crack down on all the illegal sand extraction activities in a major way," the director said. Last year, the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) western region bench in Pune had directed authorities to take strict action, including arrest, confiscation of vessels' licences and use of armed police, against illegal sand miners in Goa.

This order came after the NGT bench of Justice V R Kingaonkar and Ajay A Deshpande heard an application by three North Goa residents.

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They had sought directions to curb rampant extraction of sand around the island 'Zuvom de Tuyem' in Chapora river between Camurlim and Arabo villages in North Goa without approvals, environment clearances and in violation of a nationwide ban on such mining by the NGT's principal bench in Delhi.

Saidas Khorjuvekar and two others from Caranzalem and Arabo villages stated in their plea — filed through lawyer Supriya Dangare — that the island was on the verge of being washed away due to large-scale illegal sand extraction.

The mining has badly affected its marine resources, causing extinction of marine life and species and destruction of retaining walls due to seepage of salty water, they had claimed.


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