Uduma: Heavy sand mining threatens Bekal fort and the fishermen surrounding it. A pit of 5 meters has been dug and sand has been taken from the Church side North to Bekal fort. If sand mining to this extent continues, it will pose a threat to the fort, say environment activists.
The sand mining at Pallikkara Mutt beach is immense. When night falls, a small JCB reaches this beach. Since there is road till the beach, the sand heaps that the JCBs have dug will be collected in tipper lorries and delivered to their areas. The constant sand mining formed 100 metres deep pit here.This pit becomes a big problem for the fishermen. These fishermen, who sail their boats into the sea even during the high tide, find it hard now since the pit has formed due to sand mining.
There is sand mining even at the estuary where Bekal river joins the sea. Sand miners are using boats here. Sand mined from here will be carried by headload and will be collected near east side of the rail track. This will be later transported through vehicles. The sight of sand in plastic sacks being carried by the labourers through Pallikara is a familiar one for the Train commuters. The fishermen allege that police and government are inefficient to curb the illegal sand mining. The Bekal Kurumba Bhagavathi temple administration board has given a complaint to the collector and Bekal circle inspector regarding this. The temple board has also warned the authority that if immediate action not taken against this crime, they will stage protests including sieging the K.S.T.P road.