Government to formulate new sand policy in a month

The State government has made it mandatory for the Public Works Department (PWD) to use only manufactured sand for construction of buildings, bridges and other works.

Following the recent Supreme Court verdict on regulation of sand mining, the government has also decided to replace the sand policy of 2011 with a new policy.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said an order has been issued to the PWD to instruct it to use only manufactured sand. Depending on the supply-demand and distance factors, the prices of sand varies from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000 a truck of load, he said.

He said the newly policy would deal with sand, its crushing and manufacturing. At present, there are different rules for sand mining and manufacturing, he said.

The National Green Tribunal ordered States to inform of regulations framed since the February 2013 order of the Supreme Court to ensure regulated mining. The States have also been asked to submit information on how many persons have been granted permission by the Environment Ministry or the State environment authorities to carry out mining activities, including the details of licences or leases granted.

Mr. Jayachandra estimated the demand for sand is about 33 lakh tonnes a month in the State, while the supply is only of 8 to 9 lakh tonnes, resulting in increase in the prices of the construction material.

More load-bearing

Experts pointed out that residue from stone crushing could be used for production of manufactured sand. Use of manufactured sand has the benefit of taking on more load because of the sand’s crushing strength. Also, it brings down costs by half, experts said.

A Secretary-level committee, comprising those from mining and industry departments, among others, was formed last week to work on a comprehensive draft on mining and stone-crushing policy, and it would submit recommendations within a month. Based on the recommendations, the new policy would be formulated taking into account all factors, he said.

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