CHANDIGARH: A Cabinet sub-committee constituted for the purpose of formulating a comprehensive policy on sand mining in the state today submitted its report to the chief minister here, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said.
The committee was formed by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and is headed by Sidhu.
In the meetings of the committee and after field visits, it was found that Punjab has sand for over 90 years and gravel for 170 years, Sidhu said after submitting the report.
The committee has recommended fixation of prices of sand at Rs 1,000 per 100 cubic feet.
The minister said the cabinet sub-committee had found that there was no price fixation for sand and there was a shortage of supply.
Resultant, people were buying sand at exorbitant prices, Sidhu said.
He also said the sub-committee keeping in view the existing deposits of sand and gravel had recommended lowering of sand prices and going in for their fixation at a certain level.
There would be no dearth of supply with people getting sand at a fixed price, which would be much less than the earlier price, as per the recommendations.
The minister said the committee had also found that the total length of rivers in Punjab was 1,150 km with an average width of 500 metre.
The total area is 575 sqkm, he said.
Thirty-two lakh tonnes of sand can be mined from a one sqkm area having 10-feet depth, according to Government of India statistics.
Similarly, in Punjab a total of 184 crore tonnes of sand can be mined from the 575 sqkm.
The mining of sand every year from rivers leads to more sand getting accumulated in them from the mountains, the minister said.
The demand in Punjab of sand is 2 crore tonnes per year.
That means Punjab has abundant stock of sand for the next 91 years, Sidhu said.
Owing to the origin of rivers of Punjab from the Himalayas, the quality of sand is far better than the sand mined from the Godavari river.
He said the committee after touring crushers, to ascertain gravel stock, came to know that rocky dunes exist in 30 km area in the Kandi region with a total area coming to 500 sqkm.
According to GoI statistics, 30 feet depth in three sqkm area can fulfill the demand of Punjab for a whole year and 1 crore tonnes of sand can be mined from the 500 sqkm area, which has the potential to fulfill the demand for the coming 170 years.
A delegation from Punjab also visited the banks of the Godavari river, where sand is mined, to have first-hand knowledge about the Telangana model.