The Karnataka State government will amend its sand policy of 2011 to check illegal sand mining and protect water bodies, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

In reply to T.B. Jayachandra of the Congress during Question Hour, Mr. Shettar said a stronger law was needed to curb illegal extraction of sand that was damaging water bodies.

Admitting loopholes in the 2011 sand policy, he said it was necessary to bring in changes to increase revenue and to check illegal transportation. At present, the Public Works Department has been implementing the land policy.

Fine collected

Till November-end, 26,358 trucks carrying sand were checked and a fine of Rs. 559.49 lakh was collected on 2,466 truck owners. A total of 302 cubic metres of sand was seized and auctioned at Rs. 6.7 lakh, he said. Revenue collected from sale of sand was Rs. 65.34 crore in 2011-12 and Rs. 79.77 crore till November- end this fiscal.

Revenue

The State government’s revenue collection has touched Rs. 39,018 crore in the first six months of this fiscal (2012-13).

While commercial tax collection was Rs. 15,445 crore, excise revenue was Rs. 5,558 crore during April- September 2012, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who also holds the Finance portfolio, told the Legislative Assembly.

Tourism

A sum of Rs. 63.94 crore has been released to provide infrastructure at tourist and pilgrimage centres in the State as on November 30, 2012, Minister for Tourism Anand Singh told Mahadeva Prasad H.S. of the Congress during Question Hour.