Bangalore: Sand mining weakening bridges foundation

CHIKMAGALUR: Sand mining on the banks of Hemavathi river, which is the main tributary of Cauvery, has become detrimental to the eight bridges constructed across Hemavathi river in Mudigere taluk.

This was evident from the letter written to the PWD superintendent engineer, Hassan division, by the executive engineer of Chikmagalur district.

In his letter, Chikmagalur district executive engineer said that extraction of sand using heavy earthmovers has started weakening the eight bridges, which have been the main conduit to communication in Malnad region. He said depletion of sand bed has caused damage to the very foundation of bridges and the rampant extraction has exposed the foundation. If the extractions are not stopped soon, the bridges may start weakening and may be damaged.

Elaborating on the details of the damage, he said sand extraction in and around the bridges has been prohibited but the miners have been doing it forcing the water currents to deplete the sand deposited at the foundation of the bridges.

Many huge pits have been formed due to the perineal extraction of sand and this was also one of the reason for the flow of sand deposited under the columns of the bridges. He has urged the higherups to put a total ban on the sand extraction in the river to safeguard the bridgess. The bridges on Hemavathi river constructed at Kittalegandi, Hichalli, Jogannanakere, Bettadamane and other four have already started weakening. The issue has also led to political vituperations between Chikmagalur MLA and Mudigere MLA and the row is still on.

From TOI

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