Minister for Public Works H.C. Mahadevappa has said that the “government will not succumb to the pressure tactics of truckers.”
Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, he said that the government had formulated new guidelines on sand extraction and procurement and the truck operators had welcomed them.
The Minister said that the crisis over sand extraction and transportation was expected to last two to three weeks and the deputy commissioners, who have been heading the district monitoring committee on extraction, storage and auctioning of sand, had been instructed to complete the process of identifying sand blocks in their districts.
The government had framed rules for scientific extraction of sand to ensure availability of sand at affordable cost.
He said that all activities of sand mining and distribution would be streamlined in the next 15 to 20 days.
Referring to the talks with the truck operators, who were on strike, the Minister said: “We are not concerned about overseeing the activities of hiring of vehicles by the public.” Truck owners have been on strike for the last few days opposing harassment from officials in issuing permits for sand transportation.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened a meeting of all Deputy Commissioners on January 29 to discuss these issues, he said.
The government has declared Chickballapur, Kolar, Bangalore Urban and Ramanagaram districts as “no sand mining districts”.
Price goes up
Following the truckers strike, Mr. Mahadevappa said that sand price had shot up to Rs. 80,000 per truck-load. Truckers have been on strike for the last 27 days seeking permits for sand transportation. The Minister said that sand extraction would be streamlined soon.