The state government has issued orders introducing lottery instead of auction of licences/rights for sand mining in the state with immediate effect.
The auction system gave scope for several irregularities in sand mining and led to controversies.
Some persons went to the Supreme Court complaining that all state governments and Union Territories had not implemented the recommendations of the Union ministry of environment and forests in regard to sand mining. Responding to the petition, the Supreme Court directed all the states and Union Territories to give effect to the recommendations of the ministry.
Basing on the directions of the apex court, the central government has directed all the states and Union Territories to frame or amend relevant rules pertaining to the sand policy. Meanwhile, the AP High court passed an interim order, suspending sand quarrying in the state.
The state government has reviewed the existing sand policy and felt the need for its amendment. To frame a new sand policy the government has constituted a group of ministers to review the present policy and make suitable recommendations. The ministerial group discussed the pros and cons of the existing policy at various levels and decided to rescind the rules 9B to 9Z of Andhra Pradesh Minor Minerals Concessions Rules, 1966 and formulate fresh rules in tune with the statutory requirements and approved the new sand policy-2012.
After careful consideration and examination of the recommendations of the group of ministers it was decided to adopt draw of lots in place of auction of sand reaches.