Indiscriminate sand mining: 100 Kerala bridges in danger

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19 (IANS) About 100 bridges in Kerala are in danger due to indiscriminate sand mining in the rivers, a state minister said on Thursday.

Minister for Public Works Department G. Sudhakaran said this while explaining to reporters the reason for the dilapidated condition of the only two-decade-old Enathu bridge in Kollam district.

The Enathu bridge had to be closed to traffic earlier this week following detection of cracks in two piers.

“Dr Aravind, a former professor at IIT-Chennai and an expert in bridges, has submitted a report to the state government on the condition of the Enathu bridge.

“It will take a while before the bridge will be reopened to traffic as the repair work of the damaged piers is going to take time,” said Sudhakaran.

Dr Aravind told the media that two piers of the Enathu bridge that stand in the water have problems and will undergo repair, while those standing on the land have no problems.

Sudhakaran said the main reason of about a 100 bridges in the state being in bad shape, and therefore in danger, is the indiscriminate river sand mining.

Over the years, river sand mining has become a huge business in Kerala, as this is the main raw material for all sorts of construction in the state.

The trade used to be controlled by a well-organised mafia, with support from both revenue and police departments.

But, after the environment activists ran a well-organised campaign against the river sand mining, things got regularised to a great extent.

–IANS

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