Sand extraction back in full swing

Sand extraction at one of the reaches.   | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) has done a record sand sale of up to 16.89 lakh cubic metres and earned a high of ₹108.61 crore in May. This is despite total shutdown of operations from March-end and entire April. The development also comes in the backdrop of construction work being drastically affected during lockdown and large scale movement of migrant labour.

During the same time in May last year the corporation had sold 14.96 lakh cubic metres earning ₹96.66 crore when the construction and real estate industry were functioning at absolute normalcy! It shows that construction work, with online sales topping as per the department data, is slowly but surely picking up.

TSMDC Managing Director G. Malsur informed that entire sand procurement process picked up as soon as offices started functioning from May with revenues touching ₹182.82 crore and extraction reaching a high of 29.5 lakh cubic metres till this week. “While construction activity seems to have picked up, this could also be due to the demand accumulated in the last couple of months when everything was shut down due to the pandemic,” he said.

Sand is extracted mainly from the Godavari river bed from districts of Jayashankar-Bhupalpally, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Mancherial and others, including from Annaram, Medigadda and Dummugudem barrages and others with 76,891 cubic metres extracted daily and four crore cubic metres available in stockyards. The corporation was allocated 42 desilting areas and 61 patta lands in 15 districts.

Mineral Development Corporation’s success story of garnering revenue of ₹2,415.35 crore between 2014-15 to 2018-19 from almost nothing has already been well documented. The trend seems to be continuing with sales garnering upto ₹800 crore till March and already closing onto ₹200 crore mark now. Sand extraction is free for local use for construction of houses for weaker sections or for the low cost sanitation, said Mr. Malsur.

District level sand committees were formed to decide on extraction process — manually or by machine depending on the sand bearing areas or desiltation. Booking is online stockyard-wise — Bulk allotments are made to government works, double bedroom houses and for private builders with built up area more than 25,000 sq.ft. Three stockyards have been established to meet small requirements in the twin cities, said the MD.

“We have been able to increase sand extraction without much ado only because of involvement of the local populace in the work, engaging them in levelling sand or spreading of covers, Villagers in about 40 habitations are getting ₹10 lakh per day,” he claimed.

When 3,000-odd vehicles move about daily into and outside the villagers the roads are bound to be affected so efforts are also being made to maintain roads and sprinkle water to prevent dust from rising. “We also make use of local people for indirect social audit to cross check way bills and lorries number,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 2:17:29 PM |

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