The state government finally came up with new sand policy which according to sources will be implemented as soon as possible on an experimental basis for one year.
As per the new sand policy, allotment of sand reaches to the mining firms through draw system. The government has now fixed a basic price of Rs 325 per cubic metre inclusive of government cess that comes to about Rs 195 per tonne on-site. The miners are now allowed to add a margin up to 20% of the fixed basic price. The government is also planning to notify maximum price end users have to pay after calculating the transportation cost.
A special authority will be appointed to ensure that the sale price of sand is not exceeding 20% of the basic rate. The authorities also informed the miners that the sand quarrying must be carried out for the fixed quantity as mentioned in the mining plan and should not exceed the thickness stipulated in the WALTA Act.
Whereas in the tribal areas the sand reaches would be allotted to the local societies by the gram sabhas with the help of AP Mining Development Corporation and ITDA.
It was also mentioned that the sand unearthed from reservoirs by removing the silt would be used only for government works. Whereas the sand near the water bodies which falls under mandal jurisdiction could be used for free for local needs and Indiramma housing without paying the any fee.
The new policy also bans the inter-State transportation of sand and also the utilisation of machinery on the riverbeds. The authorities also mentioned that stringent action would be taken on those who perform activities against the new policy. The new policy also makes it mandatory that the existing lease holders should sell their land.
Source: Hindu, DC, Economic Times