It has to be different for the region because of terrain regulations: Minister
The long-pending demand for a sand mining policy for the coastal districts will be realised in another 15 days, said Minister for Mines and Geology C.C. Patil here on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after meeting MLAs and members of the District Task Force from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, Mr. Patil said that with areas in the coastal districts divided into Coastal Regulatory Zone and non-CRZ, the sand extraction policy has to be different from the one that applies to other parts of the State.
“Such a policy is a long-pending demand. The State government is committed to resolving it,” Mr. Patil said and added that a high-level meeting will be held in Bengaluru shortly. The Deputy Commissioners of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi will be invited to it. “We will make an announcement in another 15 days,” he said.
Affirming the commitment of the government to providing sand at affordable prices, the Minister said that if more licences are issued for extraction, the rate of sand will automatically come down. “Sand is now available at ₹ 6,000 per load in Dakshina Kannada. It will come down further,” the Minister said.
Mr. Patil said that Mysuru Minerals Limited has been asked to extract sand in 30 blocks in the non-CRZ areas where more than 10,000 tonnes of sand are available in each block in Dakshina Kannada. In areas where fewer quantity is available, agencies such as Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited will be asked to extract sand. As many as 104 people have been involved in traditional extraction of sand in CRZ areas since 2011. This number will be slightly increased, he said.
The State government will come down hard on those involved in illegal transportation of sand and illegal extraction of red stone. Surveillance cameras are being placed at 196 places in Dakshina Kannada to keep a tab on inter-State movement of vehicles, he said.
While there are about 800 sites identified for extraction of laterite stones, only one permit has been issued. The government would enhance the numbers after scrutinising applications by 250 persons in a fortnight to allow such extraction only in patta lands, Mr. Patil said.
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