Government vows to crush sand mafia

Government vows to crush sand mafia
Highlights

Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao on Monday said that the State government was firm in its resolve to crush sand mafia in Telangana State stating that stringent measures have fetched Rs. 365 crore as revenue in 2015-16.

Hyderabad: Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao on Monday said that the State government was firm in its resolve to crush sand mafia in Telangana State stating that stringent measures have fetched Rs. 365 crore as revenue in 2015-16.

  • Reduced sand price helps poor to build their houses
  • 11.80 crore earned as penalty in a year

Replying to a question on sand policy raised by Congress MLA D K Aruna, the Minister said that after the TRS had assumed power in the state, the government introduced a new sand policy which resulted in reducing the sand-price and increased the availability of sand for the poor to build their houses. Assuring that the government would not spare illegal mining, he declared, “We will deal the sand mafia with an iron hand.”

Rao said that the sand-lorry rates had reduced during last one year. “In Hyderabad, a 10-tonne sand-lorry used to cost Rs. 25,000 in 2012-13 and 2013-14, but now it costs between Rs. 11,000 to 12,000. Similarly, the cost of a 20-tonne lorry was Rs. 30,000 to 50,000 earlier. It is now available at Rs. 25,000 only,” said Rao.

He informed that revenue generation has been increased with the sand policy brought out by the State government. "During 2011, the revenue was Rs. 27 lakh, in 2011-12 it was Rs. 10 crore and in 2013 it was Rs. 1.62 crore. However, this year the revenue is Rs. 365 crore," he said and wondered where all this money went during the previous years.

He informed that during the six-year rule (2009-15) before the TRS government was formed, the penalty imposed was Rs. 20 crore. Last year (2015-16), the government booked 5,946 cases and received Rs 11.80 crore as penalty.

The minister said that anybody can book a sand-lorry online either on TSonline or www.sand.telangana. gov.in. 15,000 lorries have been booked so far. If sand is taken out illegally from river fronts, sand would be seized and used for government works, he informed.

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