District administration carries out drive against sand mafia
Thane : The district administration carried out a massive drive against the sand mafia and seized illegally dredged sand as well as equipment of a total value of around Rs 11.50 crore, it was officially announced here.
Addressing a press conference here today evening, District Collector Ashwini Joshi told reporters that the drive began at about 7.30 pm last evening and lasted until 5 am, before it was resumed, shortly before noon.
The drive was launched simultaneously at different locations to ensure that those indulging in illegal activities do not shift base to other locations in the district, she said.
She said that perfect co-operation from the city police and the district rural police ensured smooth raids at locations from where several boats, barges, suction pumps and cranes were seized.
More than 150 personnel from the revenue and police departments participated in the drive in which patrol boats were also put to use, she said.
Locations that were raided include those in Thane, Kalyan and Bhiwandi she said.
She said that the sand seized would be auctioned and seized cranes would be returned to their owners if they provide bank guarantees as well as follow legal procedures.
In case owners of cranes get back the property and repeat the offfence, they will be classified as habitual offenders and action would be intiated against them, she said.