Drop in catch forced 80K fisherfolk to pull out sand in Thane

Drop in catch forced 80K fisherfolk to pull out sand in Thane.
“Locals who struggled to make ends meet were swayed away by the sand mafia to pull out sand illegally for quick money,” said Nandkumar Pawar, head, SEAP.
Several come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand for employment opportunities.
Fishermen from Gaimukh, Mandve, Kemnidive, Kharbao, Kolshet, Kalher, Kasheli, Waghbil and others, all mostly in Thane and Palghar district, act as the mafia and allocate 12 labourers on each of their boats,” said Pawar.
It is collected and transported to the heads, who send it to industries for construction purposes,” he added.
The state government, in accordance with the national guidelines for sustainable sand mining has appointed district level committees to control illegal sand mining.
On Saturday, the Thane collector, MMB officials and Sumaira Abdulali from Awaaz Foundation inspected sites to for illegal sand mining at various locations in Thane district.
Raids will be carried out in the coming weeks under the supervision of the Thane collector, local police and MMB officers,” said a local MMB officer who accompanied the group.
There was no back up or protection,” she said adding, “The state has to use modern technology to implement policies that can track the extraction, transport and use of this sand.
“There are no boats to enter deep creeks or river areas, where the work is carried out.” State government officials said that the responsibility to reduce sand mining was solely upon the district collector.