Administration flooded with applications even before norms are framed

With the apex court making norms stringent for sand quarrying, contractors seem to have set their eyes on de-casting sand in agricultural fields.

The district administration is flooded with applications even before operational guidelines are framed.

Political pressure

And, higher-ups are facing enormous pressure from political leaders to finalise the guidelines and clear the applications.

Finally, sources say, the district administration has cleared two applications. Two more applications have been referred to Hyderabad.

In all, the officials have received 30 applications from ‘pattadars’.

Biggest sand reach

Interestingly, all the applications are from a single village — Vallurupalem of Thotlavallur mandal. The Vallurupalem sand reach is one of the biggest reaches in the district.

The licence period for Vallurupalem and Ravirala-Vedadri sand bearings came to an end on March 31.

Sand de-casting is relatively an easy way to quarry sand without attracting the rules and regulations that have come into force after the apex court’s intervention.

Any farmer, who suffered losses due to sand casting in his or her agricultural field, can apply to the government seeking permission to de-cast sand.

The government has made a provision for de-casting with a view to bringing back the agricultural fields into use.

The agricultural officer will have to assess the amount and extent of casting in the agricultural field. Then, the farmer will be allowed to de-cast the sand in his or her field.

The tehsildar concerned will have to inspect the de-casting process. The pattadar has to take up the task himself, officials say.

It is pertinent to mention here that there is no estimation on the extent of sand casting of agricultural fields due to floods in the district.

Expensive

The agricultural fields have turned barren with farmers showing little interest in de-casting, as reviving farms is very expensive with little guarantee of restoring the original fertility level.

Floods carry sand into fields, severely affecting the fertility of the soil.

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