Bengaluru: The State Government will soon implement a new sand policy to supply sand to poor people free of cost, said Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani.
Replying to JD(S) MLA C.N. Balakrishna’s question during Question Hour in the State Legislative Assembly on Friday, he said that the Department has taken several steps to ease sand crisis in the State. A new sand policy will be implemented soon to supply sand at a nominal rate of Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 per tonne for construction of houses under Ashraya and other schemes at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh and below in Gram Panchayat limits.
“We will supply free sand through this scheme as the poor people are unable to pay heavy price to buy sand to construct houses. This will benefit people at Gram Panchayat and City Municipal Council limits. We have already allowed transportation of sand through bullock carts from gorges and streams in Gram Panchayat limits. The Government has identified 193 sand blocks and notified 87 blocks,” Nirani said.
The Minister said, he has instructed officials to take stringent action against people who were into illegal sand transportation. Two officials have already been suspended for indulging in illegal activities after a probe. “We will initiate legal action if Government officials are found involved in such activities,” he warned.
Single Window System
Elaborating sand crisis, the Minister said that the Government was implementing Single Window System to address problems across the State.
“I received a lot of complaints regarding sand supply during my trip across the State. Such complaints are reported frequently in Forest, Revenue, Home, Environment and Pollution Control Board. We are implementing the new system to resolve these issues. The Government will get Rs. 150 crore revenue annually from sand mining and added that tough measures have been taken to check the leakage of revenue in some areas.”
He also warned of stern action against those producing sand through filtering. “We will not spare anybody indulging in manufacturing of filtering sand. I am aware of lapses regarding the supply of sand in the State and our Department will take all the steps to resolve the issues,” he added.