Permits for sand extraction will be issued in the district from November 21, Minister for Medical Education S.A. Ramdas has said.

Speaking to presspersons after a meeting with officials of Revenue, Mines and Geology, and Police departments, representatives of lorry owners' association and contractors on here Friday, Mr. Ramdas, who is also district in-charge, said that each load of sand measuring up to 5.5 cubic ft would cost Rs. 4,000, exclusive of transportation, loading and unloading charges. In all, each load would henceforth cost around Rs. 7,000, he said.

To begin with, five blocks had been identified in T. Narasipur taluk for sand extraction, apart from seven stockyards. A contractor or a person requiring sand has to take a DD for Rs. 4,000 and submit it to the assistant executive engineers in Mysore or T. Narasipur taluks to lift sand from the stockyards, Mr. Ramdas said.

Decision on the contentious issue of installing GPS on lorries, which was objected to by lorry owners, was deferred. Separate stockyards would be set up for those requiring sand in small quantities, he said.

As per a survey conducted by the district administration, about 200 loads of sand was required on any given day in the district. Four checkposts would be set up that would be manned by officials of Revenue, Police, and the Mines and Geology. Though there was only one sand policy in the State, the modalities differed in each district, Mr. Ramdas said.

Violations would attract Rs. 25,000 fine and the jail term could go up to two years.

Earlier in the day, members of the lorry association denounced the new regulations put forward by Mr. Ramdas.

They demanded permits to transport sand without the involvement of PWD or other departments. The meeting was attended by representatives of the builders and contractors' associations, engineers and architects.

Swamy, vice-president of the association, told the meeting that sand could not be supplied at Rs. 4,000 per load as the diesel prices and other costs had gone up. They were also against installation of the GPS apparatus on vehicles transporting sand to ensure that sand reached the designated spot after loading.

Mr. Ramdas clarified that the Government did not want money from sand but was interested in protecting the interests of people. Mr. Ramdas finally stated that the Government would not allow labourers from outside the State in sand business. Serious action would be taken against those employing labourers below the age of 18, he added.

Keywords: sand mining

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