The district administration identified two new sand reaches – Iluru and Ghani Atkuru--recently. The officials are gearing up to allot the sand bearings. The new sand reaches are likely to cater to the needs of district for a year. The sand reaches will be allotted through lottery system.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has to give clearance before the district administration allots the sand reaches.
The licence period for Vallurupalem and Ravirala-Vedadri sand bearings came has to an end on March 31. At present only Damulu sand reach in Ibrahimpatnam is functional. The administration has given permission to quarry 15,000 cubic metre of sand from this quarry. The permission would expire by October this year.
The Iluru sand bearing in Thotlavalluru mandal has 80,000 cubic metre sand, while Ghani Atkur in Kanchikacherla has capacity of 40,000 cubic metres. The Iluru sancd bearing alone can meet the district requirements for a year, source say.
Iluru sand bearing has some teething problems. The locals, who possesses land adjacent the sand bearing, are said to have raised objection. Vijayawada Sub Collector, Tehsildar, and AD (SLR) are scheduled to visit the area and take stock of the situation. They will verify the records and the locals’ claims. Later, the proposals would be sent to MOEF for the clearance, sources say.
It may be recalled that the State government introduced a new sand mining policy under which the old system of auctioning has been dispensed with and a lottery arrangement put in place. Based on the recommendations made by a Group of Ministers, which reviewed the sand mining policy in the light of the Supreme Court’s verdict banning indiscriminate quarrying, the government framed the revised policy guidelines.
The allotment of feasible sand-bearing areas is being made through a selection process by way of draw of lots. Extraction of sand shall be by manual means only and use of machinery shall not be permitted except in specific sand-bearing areas where there is no impact on groundwater table, officials say.