Bengaluru: The Karnataka Cabinet on Monday approved the rules and guidelines for the sand policy that promises to make sand available easily and at a cheaper price. A special provision has been made to allow the traditional extraction of sand practiced in the coastal region.
As per the new guidelines, people will be allowed to buy sand online. The rules also empower panchayats, which can issue permits for sand extraction within their jurisdictions.
Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said that under the new rules, a truckload of sand will cost around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000, down from the existing Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000.
“About 10-15 tonnes of sand can be transported in a lorry. With the new prices, a lorry load of sand will cost around Rs 10,000 and a maximum of Rs 12,000,” he said.
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The new policy has introduced a provision for the supply of sand at subsidized rates for the poor and for government schemes. The new policy allows gram panchayats to supply sand for rural housing projects and government-sponsored schemes at a discounted rate. Poor will also be given sand at Subsidised rates, the minister said.
Under the new policy, which was in the works for more than a year, guidelines have been framed for three sources of sand extraction i.e. from gram panchayat limits, from riverbeds, and from the sea.
Madhuswamy said that the sand mined at the level of a gram panchayat will be sold at Rs 300 per metric tonne whereas the price of river sand is fixed at Rs 700 per metric tonne for both within towns and Inter-district supply.
The policy fixes a royalty for the state exchequer at Rs 50-60 per tonne, he said.
The new rules also stipulate the formula for sharing of royalty collected. The government will keep 50 percent of the royalty and share the rest with gram panchayats. The gram panchayats from where the sand is extracted will receive a 25 percent share of the royalty. The rest 25 percent will be given to the panchayats through which the sand is transported.
The rules also clarify how and where to extract the sand. “Sand can be extracted only with permission from local authorities. A district-level body will be formed to permit the extraction of sand based on survey reports. Enforcement and monitoring responsibilities will be given to these district-level bodies,” Madhuswamy said.
Special relief for traditional coastal sand extraction:
The government has decided to allow the traditional extraction of sand practiced in the coast, including Dakshina Kannada district, by diving into the river bed in the non-Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). “But, machinery cannot be used for extraction in such cases as it is against the law,” Madhuswamy said.