With barely a month to go for the expiry of the deadline set by the National Green Tribunal for the Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) for complying with its order on curbing illegal sand mining in River Chapora, the directorate has at last commenced the work on setting up a surveillance network on the banks of the river as directed by the tribunal.
The directorate on Thursday floated a tender for installing CCTV cameras with central storage and viewing facility to track down those involved in illegal sand extraction.
The bids will be opened on August 29, while the job has to be completed within 30 days of the bidder getting the project work order.
The deadline given by the NGT for completing the process of installation of the CCTV surveillance system is September 26.
The tender document reveals that six cameras are to be installed and all located in marshy areas and on bunds of the river banks.
The bidder will be responsible for installing and implementing the project on a turnkey basis.
The necessary permissions or NOCs for laying electrical cables, for placement of cameras will be obtained by the DMG from concerned authorities.
The project involves installing high speed cameras with optical and digital zoom and the related hardware to get the system working.
The NGT had given an ultimatum to the state government to install CCTV cameras along the Chapora river to curb illegal sand mining being carried out there or face forfeiture of the bank guarantee of Rs 20 lakh deposited for the completion of the project.
In November 2017, the state had promised to complete the process within two months, but by February 2019, it was found that the work had still not been done which prompted the NGT to seek performance guarantee of Rs 20 lakh to complete the entire work within two months.
The NGT had sought the performance guarantee after an application was moved by Saidas Khorjuvekar through his lawyer Supriya Dangare alleging that illegal sand mining in the river had threatened the stability of a riverine island known as ‘Zuvem de Tuem,’ and the island is on the verge of being washed away.
The NGT insisted on an action plan and installation of cameras to curb sand extraction.
Illegal sand extraction is being carried out clandestinely in rivers of the state. The DMG has plans to come out with a sand mining policy. Over 400 permits for sand mining have been issued to extractors but permit holders’ licences were not renewed in the 2018-19 season as the matter is sub-judice.
The new sand mining season will restart in October 2019.