Warangal villagers take control of sand mining, share profit

Happy scenario:Suggula Udaya of Eturu village showing her bank account passbook and the money she got from sand quarrying in Warangal district.– Photo: M. Murali  

For decades, the poor living along the Godavari remained mute spectators as influential contractors extracted sand from their habitations and minted money.

Thanks to the initiative of district Collector Vakati Karuna, the villagers set up a cooperative society and were given the rights to quarry sand.

Senior citizen Suggula Udaya of Eturu village showing her bank passbook was all smiles. “Each of us got Rs.60,000 for eight months and another Rs.60,000 is due. We are very happy and we will not let others exploit sand anymore,” she told The Hindu.

Integrated Tribal Development Agency officer D. Amoy Kumar said 606 families living in Eturu, Singaram and Kanthanapally formed a cooperative society which in turn got the rights to quarry sand from three reaches. “After expenditure, the society gets Rs.80 per cubic metre. It all worked out to nearly Rs.22 crore, which is being disbursed among the members,” he explained.

According to him, the district Collector took up the issue with the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) and helped the societies get quarrying contracts. Hitherto, the rich contractors managed the few society members and took away all the money. “Approximately, a truck-load of sand costs Rs.20,000 which is sold at prices five to six times in towns and cities. Not a single rupee goes to the poor villagers,” Ch. Venugopal Reddy, district project manager, Indira Kranti Patham pointed out.

Mr Amoy Kumar said every family got a bank account now and money is transferred online. “Women in each family have accounts in their names and they have power to withdraw money. Cash is not transferred physically but only online,” he explained.

The district administration had opened five sand reaches in Eturu village, one at Tupakulagudem and one at Mullakatta Rampur.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:59:49 AM |

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