Illegal sand mining continues to be rampant in the Gwalior- Chambal area, with the sand mafia getting bolder and audacious by the day. Despite tell-tale signs of tractors criss-crossing the banks of the rivers in the division and trucks laden with illegal sand thundering on the highways the administration seems to be helpless and clueless to check the illegal activity.
It looks like neither the District Administration nor the Police have the guts to take on the sand mafia. Places like Morena, Bhind, Bhitarwar, Datia and Dabra continue to be hotspots of this illegal mining. River beds in these areas continue to be scraped and stripped bare by openly flouting rules and guidelines that are set for the regulation of sand mining.
In the latest one such incident, yesterday night a team of police and district administration officers tried to stop dumpers ravaging sand banks in the Sindh River in Lohari village of Bhitarwar but failed in apprehending the culprits. It is apparent that the sand mafia had prior knowledge about the raid and thus could escape in the darkness.
While it is true that the joint party did arrest a few drivers, the fact remains that the kingpins of the mafia could not be apprehended.
There are unconfirmed reports that most of the illegal mining in the Gwalior- Chambal Division is being done with the connivance of the police and the mining department. The fact that the sand mafia is able to ferry sand in hundreds of trucks everyday lends some credence to those reports.
If the sand mafia is being shielded by the mining officials, police and the district administration for petty shares from the illegal business, it is a sad state of affairs.
One can only hope that someone in the administration or the government comes out with a policy to curb this menace.