Goons of 'sand mining mafia' vandalize the only bridge of Pavoor-Uliya residents

Harsha Raj Gatty
February 3, 2019

Mangaluru, Oct 3: Miscreants vandalise the temporary bridge of the Pavoor-Uliya 'island village' in Mangaluru city, a week after the residents successfully draw the attention of the district authorities to the rampant and unauthorised sand extraction from the area. 

"Besides removing the planks from the temporary bridge, bending the support beams and metal joints of the structure, the miscreants have also vandalised at least seven two-wheelers including an auto rickshaws that belonged to the residents and parked on the other side of the temporary (non-motorable) bridge," Glen, Pavoor Uliya resident says. 

After years of repeated pleas to sand miners to stop illegal sand extraction, in the last week of January the villagers confronted the sand miners and forced them to vacate the boats and equipments. "We informed police, Geology and mining department, who came and seized at least seven boats, equipments and machinery. This seems to have frustrated the sand miners in their operation," a resident said.

According to another island resident Gilbert, over 50-years ago the distance between the village to the mainland was barely 50 feet; however due to the rising water and illegal sand mining in the area, the divide between the two regions has grown wider.

"Though there is a ban on sand mining in the region, at night we see several trucks and JCBs lined up on the other side of the river, lifting loads of sand. When we questioned the workers regarding the permit for sand-mining, the workers threatened us. We have reported the matter to the police and DC office several times, however just before the officials raid, the labourers suddenly windup their work and flee. It’s quite evident that someone within the department is tipping them about the official visits," a resident under condition of anonymity says. The pollution caused due to sand-mining has also driven away the fish in the nearby river beds, which was earlier one of the important occupations and source of income for the locals.

Located off the coast of Mangalore city, Pavoor Uliya, (Uliya means which means "leftover or remaining land) lies in the midst of Nethravathi river. To connect to the mainland (Mangalore city), the villagers have cross 600-metres of water. The tiny island that has 51 families living for the past three-four generation, has however no basic amenities such as school, medical facility, street lights, shops, or even motorable roads. Except for a Hindu family, rest of the 50 families are Catholics, and the village is never prone to any communal incident. Most of the residents of this village daily commute to the mainland (Mangalore City), where they are employed in commercial establishments.

Each year post monsoon season the island-village of about 250 people pool funds together to build a temporary (non-motorable) bridge. According to the residents it takes at least over a lakh to build the bridge, that they construct post -monsoon season to cross over the river. "During rain we use a motorised boat to cross the river since the bridge can be easily swept away by strong currents," Glen says.

While the case has been booked in the jurisdictional police station, Mangalore City Police Commissioner TR Suresh who visited the spot assured the residents that the policing in the area will be intensified and the perpetrators will be caught. "We are investigating the matter; the suspects will be arrested soon. We will also take some additional measures in the area for the protection of the people," he said.

District-in-charge minister UT Khader who visited the area on Saturday morning, also assured the residents of providing CCTV coverage at the entry point to the village.

In the backdrop of construction sector of the city complaining 'sand shortage', the illegal transporters and hoarders continue to extract sand from unmarked or ecologically sensitive areas and sell it for higher price. Just weeks earlier, Dakshina Kannada DC Sasikanth Senthil had 'debunked' the scarcity myth and said that the control room for 'Sand Crisis' had no call from the needy despite being operational for a month. He had also warned construction companies against excessive 'sand mining'.

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News Network
May 2,2021

Kalaburgi, May 2: Three COVID-19 patients in Khaja Banda Nawaz Hospital in Kalaburagi died on Saturday evening.

It is learnt that the tragedy occurred when they were being shifted to other healthcare facility after the hospital ran out of oxygen. 

As the news reached the district administrative headquarters, Deputy Commissioner Vijaya Jyothsna dispatched oxygen cylinders to the hospital.

The deceased were on oxygen support. When the hospital staff found that the ICU would run out of oxygen, they began shifting the patients to other hospital in ambulance.

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News Network
May 7,2021

Bengaluru, May 7: Amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the state, the Karnataka government on Friday imposed a complete lockdown in the state from May 10 to May 24.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced the decision after holding review meetings in view of an alarming rise in the state. On Thursday the state reported over 49,000 fresh Covid-19 cases, while it had reported over 50,000 new cases the day before. 

As Karnataka enters lockdown from May 10, here are the activities that are allowed and not allowed till May 24.

What's allowed:

1. Only the following Offices of the State Government and their Autonomous Bodies, Corporations such as Health, Medical Education, Police, Home Guards, BBMP etc shall function (outside containment zone). 

2. Only the following Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/Subordinate Offices and Public Corporations such as Defence, Defence PSUs, central armed police forces, telecommunication, etc shall function (outside containment zones).

3. All health Services, including hospitals, nursing homes, AYUSH and veterinary hospitals, to remain functional (outside containment zone).

4. All agriculture and allied activities are allowed. Shops and godowns, related to farming, custom hiring centres, machinery are permitted from 6 am to 10 am outside containment zones. 

5. Operation of homes for children/disabled/mentally challenged/senior citizens/destitutes/women/widows outside containment zone to be functional.

6. All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through stores, or e-commerce companies shall be allowed to operate adhering to National Directives for Covid-19 management. Movement of all types of goods including empty goods vehicles will be allowed.

7. Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, and animal fodder shall be allowed to function from 6 am to 10 am. Public Distribution System shops are allowed. Takeaway only is allowed from standalone liquor shops and outlets, from 6 am to 10 am. The sale of vegetables and fruits through pushcarts is allowed from 6 am to 6 pm. Milk booths and Hopcoms outlets are allowed from 6 am to 6 pm. Home delivery of essential items shall be encouraged 24x7 to minimise the movement of individuals outside their homes. Operations shall be subject to adhering to National Directives for Covid-19 management.

8. All food processing and related industries, banks, insurance offices and ATM, print and electronic media will be allowed to function.

9. Telecommunication, internet services, broadcasting and cable services shall be allowed. Employees and vehicles of Telecom and Internet Service providers shall be allowed unrestricted movement on producing valid ID card issued by their respective organisation/institution.

10. Construction activities with in-situ labourers/workers will be allowed outside the containment zone adhering to National Directives for Covid-19 management. Works related to pre-monsoon preparation/road construction activity is permitted.

11. Scheduled weddings are permitted strictly adhering to Covid-19-appropriate behaviour with a maximum of 50 people.  

12. Cremation/funerals to be allowed with a maximum of 5 people. 

Restricted movement of individuals:

1. No movement of Public or private buses or passenger vehicles except as permitted under these guidelines.

2. Inter-state and Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles, only in cases of emergencies or as permitted under these guidelines.

3. Intra-district movement of passenger vehicles and buses only in emergency cases and strictly adhering to the prevailing SOPs/guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Movement of Officers/personnel travelling with the valid ID card issued by their Organization/Institution to the place of work and back for permitted activities in these guidelines.

4.  Movement of Officers/Staff of High Court of Karnataka, Officers/Staff of District Judiciary holding official ID Card are permitted even beyond office hours to attend official work at High Court, Home Office of Hon'ble Chief Justice/other Hon'ble Judges and respective offices at the districts. 

5. Passenger vehicles including Airport Buses/Taxis/ Auto Rickshaws to and fro from Railway stations and Airports are permitted. The movement will be allowed only on displaying valid travel documents/tickets.

6. Autos and taxis (including cab aggregators) are permitted for travel related to an emergency purpose. 

7. Patients and their attendants/persons requiring emergency need for movement shall be allowed to move. Movement for the purpose of vaccination and testing shall be permitted with minimal proof. 

What's not allowed:

1. Metro rail services will not be allowed across the state.

2. Taxis (including auto-rickshaws) and services of cab aggregators, except while hired for emergency and as permitted in these guidelines

3. Schools, colleges, educational/coaching institutions, etc will remain closed. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

4. Hotels, restaurants, and hospitality services will not be permitted, except those meant for housing health/police/Government officials/ healthcare workers/ stranded persons including tourists, quarantine facility and step-down Hospitals. However, hotels, restaurants and eateries shall be permitted to operate kitchens for take away/home delivery of food items only. No vehicles will be allowed to be used by persons for taking parcels/takeaway. The only movement by walk is allowed for this purpose. However, hotels, restaurants and eateries can use vehicles for home delivery.

5. All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, stadia, playgrounds, swimming pools, parks, entertainment parks, clubs, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places will be closed.

6. All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and large congregations shall be closed.

7. All religious places, places of worship shall be closed for the public. 

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News Network
April 28,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 28: Amid surging Covid-19 cases in the State, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka claimed on Wednesday most infected people have switched off their phones and about 3,000 of them who have gone 'missing' from Bengaluru are spreading the disease. Police have been asked to trace them, the minister told reporters.

"We are giving free medicines to the people, which can control 90 per cent of cases, but they have (Covid infected people) switched off their mobile phones. They reach the hospital in a critical stage to desperately look for the ICU beds.This is what is happening now," Ashoka said.

He said most of those infected with Covid-19 have switched off their phones and are not letting people know about their whereabouts, which is making things difficult.

"I feel that at least 2,000 to 3,000 people in Bengaluru have switched off their phones and left their houses.We don't know where they have gone," the minister added.

Appealing to the infected people to keep their phones switched on, Ashoka said police have been asked to track them.

"I pray to them with folded hands that Covid cases will only increase due to this (behaviour). It is wrong when you reach for ICU beds at the last moment," the minister said.

The government has imposed a lockdown for 14 days restricting unnecessary movement of people starting from Tuesday night to contain Covid cases, which is rising at an alarming proportion.

More than 30,000 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported on Tuesday including over 17,000 in Bengaluru, while the active cases have exceeded three lakh in the state of which two lakh are in the state capital.

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