VISAKHAPATNAM: The free sand policy of the government turned into a handmaid by the sand mafia and the very purpose of the free sand policy is getting defeated. Unless the government takes prompt action and curb the activities of sand mafia with an iron hand, it would severely hamper construction activity in the state, leading to adversely affecting housing programmes of the government, including the Prime Minister’s programme of houses to all by 2022, said GVVS Narayana, the chairman of CREDAI Vizag.
At a news conference here on Thursday, Narayana said that after the announcement of a policy of free sand supply, the cost of the sand per truck load which was hovering around Rs 35,000 had come down to about Rs 12,000 (loading, unloading and transport charges). But the sand mafia raised the cost to around Rs 25,000 per truck load.
“It has become very difficult for a person to transport sand from Srikakulam to Vizag, though the sand is free. In the last few weeks around 150 sand-laden trucks had been seized by the Srikakulam police and huge penalties were collected. One is at a loss to understand under what provisions the penalties were collected by the police in Srikakulam district. There are absolutely no problems while transporting sand from Rajahmundry,” said Koteswara Rao.