Crime Bureau, Tolivelugu: Mulugu district is home to the Ramappa Shrine and is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites for everyone. But it is something else for the TRS mafia- a gold mine. While the separate state of Telangana has been achieved through the sacrifices of thousands of peoples’ lives, the elected TRS government politicians had been aggressively exploiting the natural resources in the state with no empathy. Yes, the TRS leaders turned Mulugu District into a cash cow. This is how they do business – they take permission to extract sand from the registered lands, only to make it possible to be cultivated again. The actual owner won’t be there on-site, the TRS leaders plan everything in the form of agreements. They take the sand worth crores of rupees to pay only Rs 5 lakh to the owner. The major lot of it will be smuggled on an everyday basis. They take their JCBs to the middle of the lake and extract sand from everywhere.
Tolivelugu has published a number of articles on how the illegal business is done by the TRS members on these registered lands. This explicit sand mafia is actually costing a ton of money for the farmers and causing great damage to the land. The tribals soon after realizing this started protests against the government. They state that this enormous exploitation of sand could cause damage to the Jampannavagu, which is quite important for the village. However, the officials never responded to any of these pleas.
Jampanna Vaagu losing survival:
“No officer is even caring as though the extraction is done right in the middle of the lake,” says the tribals who are concerned with their survival. Although the Sarpanch of the village went against the authorities, there was no spec of response, and in addition to that, the sarpanch was retaliated by the authorities with the backing of the politicians.
The heavy digging is raising various questions like the possibility of being able to use the land after digging, as the minerals in the land might get washed away in the Jampanna Vaagu (pond) in the coming monsoon season. Villagers say the embankment around Eturu Nagar is under threat. When the contractor was asked by the Eturu Nagar Sarpanch for an explanation, the Sarpanch replied, “I do not know who you are, or what your position is. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone.” In addition, the villagers are being terrorized by the illegal sand mafia. This situation indicates how TRS is controlling powerful bodies like TSMDC and revenue officials and managing to loot the natural resources of the state.