The State government is considering constituting a Cabinet subcommittee to frame a new sand policy to tackle illegal sand extraction and control the sand mafia.

Sources said here on Monday that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had indicated as such during his meeting with deputy commissioners in Bangalore a few days ago.

The Gulbarga district administration, on its part, plans to ban transport of sand between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., as one of the steps to control the movement of illegally extracted sand from riverbeds in the district. Deputy Commissioner N.S. Prasannakumar confirmed this decision and said that Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar also made a request to the district administration seeking a ban to enable law enforcement agencies to keep a tab on the transport of sand.

Although the existing sand policy and other laws prohibited the direct sale of sand to consumers and the use of machines for extracting sand, these provisions were violated with impunity, Mr. Prasannakumar said. Even raids had not made a difference, he added.

As per the existing sand policy, sand should be sold only from the stockyard.

Industrial zone

The Deputy Commissioner said the Union government sought 12,500 acres of land in the district for establishing a national economic and industrial zone.

The district administration was asked to look for a suitable site. More details of the industries coming up in the zone is not immediately available.

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