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Home > News > Andhra Pradesh Formulates New Sand Mining Policy

Andhra Pradesh formulates new sand mining policy

Infrawindow News Bureau




Sep. 24, 2012, 02:30 PM

Andhra Pradesh formulates new sand mining policyThe Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday formulated a new sand quarrying policy even as it banned inter-state transport of sand. The move would help overcome the shortage of sand in the state and will revive the construction industry.


As per the new policy, sand reaches would be allotted for mining through draw of lots. Galla Aruna Kumari, Minister for mines and geology said the new sand policy was prepared keeping the interests of consumers in mind. The policy banned the use of poclains on river beds and fixed sand price at Rs 325 per cubic metre. Following the high court stay on sand mining, the price had shot up from Rs 500 a tonne to Rs 3,000 a tonne.


Aruna Kumari, who announced the new policy, said the process of allocating sand through tender-cum-public auction was done away with and sand would be allotted through the lottery system. She said the policy restricts quarrying of sand as stipulated in the Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA).


The minister said that the government, if necessary, would treat sand as an essential commodity. Under the policy, which was formulated on the recommendations of a seven-member cabinet sub-committee headed by the minister, sand would be supplied free for the Indiramma housing scheme. The minister said the money earned by the government through royalty would be deposited in the accounts of zilla parishads.


The minister, who has been supporting excavation of rock sand, said the mining department would also take steps to promote use of rock sand. She said that violators of the new regulations would face cancellation of mining licence and their machinery would be seized. The new policy applies to those who are already quarrying sand and if any existing bidders refuse to accept the new policy, they will be returned money proportionate to the quantity they have not mined.


The AP high court in March had stayed sand mining and auction of sand reaches in the state. The Supreme Court had also rejected the state's petition to vacate the lower court's order. The state government subsequently approached the state environmental impact assessment authority of the Union ministry of environment and forests, which granted permission for mining in 36 sand reaches in four rivers.

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