Andhra Pradesh Mines Minister Galla Aruna claims that the steps initiated by government responsible for this

Minister for Mines and Geology, Galla Aruna, said here on Thursday that the situation with regard to the availability of sand had eased in Andhra Pradesh to some extent following various steps taken by the government.

The steps listed out by her to reporters following the review here on Thursday, included extraction of a massive quantity of 5.57 lakh cubic metres from 23 of the 35 areas of patta lands in six districts and auctioning of 18 of the 36 sand reaches for which environmental clearances were obtained as per the Supreme Court directive, for knockdown sum of Rs 81.31 crore.

De-silting operations

She said in addition, 16,000 cubic metres of sand had been secured through de-silting of five out of 20 submergence areas lying on the margins of irrigation project reservoirs.

A quantity of 54,000 cubic metres was obtained through de-silting of irrigation projects in 21 areas on the basis of temporary permits.

Over 84,679 cubic metres of sand seized during raids was diverted to East and West Godavari districts to facilitate implementation of Godavari delta modernisation works.

Auction postponed

She said 12 reaches had been auctioned in East Godavari district, one in West Godavari, two in Krishna and three in Guntur. The government was forced to postpone the auction of four reaches in Nellore district due to the problem relating to availability of roads for transportation.

Sums paid

Lessees of 34 out of 47 reaches for which the lease period was to be extended into the second year, had paid the stipulated sums and submitted draft mining plans for 25 reaches.

To tribal persons

Ms. Aruna said 11 reaches in Khammam district and one in Warangal would be allotted to tribal persons.

The process was on to get environmental clearances for them.