Andhra Pradesh

Govt. bans sandmining for 15 days

New policy from July 1: Minister

The government on Tuesday banned sand mining in the State for the next 15 days and announced that it was contemplating bringing a new policy scrapping the one introduced by the previous Telugu Desam government. The idea is to ensure that the new policy would be a win-win situation for both consumers and the government. Also, it was one of the key decisions taken by the State Cabinet at its first meeting on Monday.

Addressing a press conference at the Secretariat, Mines and Panchayat Raj Development Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy said that the government would study the mining policy of other States to prepare one best suited for A.P. The new policy would come into force from July 1. Persons resorting to illegal transportation would be booked under the PD Act and the district officials would be held responsible if any such cases were reported, he asserted.

‘Only TDP leaders gained’

The Minister said that the government gets its 20 to 25 % revenue through mining. The mineral wealth was brazenly looted during the TDP government. The State suffered due to the free sand policy but the TDP leaders were benefited. An MRO who opposed the illegal sand mining was attacked by the TDP leaders. The TDP candidates lost the election wherever illegal sand mining was reported, he asserted.

Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, during his election campaign, had promised that he would introduce a law to check illegal sand mining if he came to power. The ‘free sand policy’ was introduced in early 2016 by the TDP government, in a bid to bring down the burden on consumers by withdrawing cess.

Only transportation charges were supposed to be collected from consumers, but it is alleged that it led to rampant illegal mining.

The National Green Tribunal also slapped a ₹100-crore fine on the State government for the unchecked sand mining in Krishna river bed.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:15:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/govt-bans-sand-mining-for-15-days/article27820528.ece

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