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Government fixes prices for loading, transportation of sand

Government fixes prices for loading, transportation of sand
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After prolonged discussions in the backdrop of severe irregularities in sand mining in the state, the state government has taken a decision fixing prices for loading and transportation cost to control sand mafia in the state.

Amaravati: After prolonged discussions in the backdrop of severe irregularities in sand mining in the state, the state government has taken a decision fixing prices for loading and transportation cost to control sand mafia in the state.

Minister for Mines and Geology R V Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao on Friday said the decision was taken with a view to bring the sand prices within the reach of the common man and to bring transparency in its distribution. He warned of stringent action on any person irrespective of his cadre, calibre or any affiliation who indulges in over pricing or illegal transportation.

He said the State government has made sand available to the public without charging any fee from March 2, 2016. For effective implementation of the sand policy, district level sand committees under the chairmanship of collectors had been constituted in the last month.

Following recommendation of the committee, the decision has been taken fixing prices for loading and transportation costs only for all urban areas in the districts except East Godavari, the Minister said. Care has been taken to fix the price on lumpsum instead of per kilometre in order to avoid confusion in calculating the cost of sand.

“The citizens in major town areas can now easily purchase the sand per tractor or per lorry as unit. Care has been taken to exclude the lorries having more than ten tons capacity except in and to Visakhapatnam district and for government infrastructure works of public utility” he said.

The Mining Minister said that existing border check-posts would be strengthened and new check-posts would also be arranged to curb transportation of sand outside the state. The rate fixation in rural areas will be on per kilometre basis. He also said that wide publicity about the prices fixed would be made and whoever sells the sand at rates than the rates notified would be punished by booking criminal cases against them.

The punishment will be with imprisonment up to 2 years and a fine of Rs.2 lakh. The public can also make a complaint about any excess rates to toll free no 1100.It is estimated that 186 reaches were closed due to various reasons in the state and reaches currently in operation are 294. Quantity identified as available is 1,45,40,723 Cum and quantity utilized under free sand policy was 68,58,545 Cum.

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