Sand dredged from Thumbe dam being offered to public

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Dredged slurry being pumped from the backwaters of the vented dam across the Netravati at Thumbe. | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Posted July 11, 2019

Though superior in quality than CRZ sand, dredged sand is cheaper; nearly 200 orders received since Saturday, says Deputy Commissioner

With dredging commencing in the backwaters of Thumbe vented dam a fortnight ago, the district administration has commenced sale of sand derived from there to the public through

The measure has come at a time when sand extraction from rivers in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) area is prohibited for three months owing to monsoon and to facilitate fish breeding. Those in dire need of sand during the rainy season now can get it without any hindrance.

Though superior in quality to sand extracted from rivers in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) as it is free of salinity, the dredged sand is priced lesser that the CRZ sand — ?483 a tonne as against ?550 a tonne, plus transportation charges. Since the administration itself has undertaken dredging, the price is less, said Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil.

He told The Hindu that nearly 200 orders were received since Saturday and delivered too. Quoting the local engineers’ association, Mr. Senthil said he had been receiving positive feedback about sand quality as well as the portal.

Administration took up dredging the riverbed in the backwaters to augment the holding capacity of the vented dam. Since there was sand extraction holiday during monsoon, the administration decided to offer the sand to the public.

Sand being loaded to a tipper at the storage yard at Thumbe near Mangaluru.

Sand being loaded to a tipper at the storage yard at Thumbe near Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Appreciating the administration’s initiative, sand truck operators wanted faster loading of the sand at the yard adjacent to the backwaters. At present, only five tippers are allowed to enter the yard at a time while one operator from the Mines and Geology Department coordinates through a system, including issue of permits.

Drivers want at least five operators and five systems to coordinate the supply as they would have to wait for hours together to get into the yard. Moreover, those picking orders from far-away places, such as Belthangady and Sullia, could transport only one load a day, thereby minimising their engagement.

Mr. Senthil said the administration would smothen the process in a couple of days before offering sand to public in full throttle.

Working smoothly

All the 200-odd orders on since Saturday when the administration began offering sand from Thumbe to the public have been delivered smoothly without any external intervention.

Earlier, there used to be a few instances when a transporter had to be reminded about the delivery, the administration said. However, in the last three days the system worked without any hitch, right from customers placing orders till delivery.