VIJAYAWADA: The State government on Tuesday imposed a ban on mining and transportation of sand for a fortnight. It announced that a new sand policy would be unveiled by July 1. With this, the controversial free sand mining policy introduced by the previous TDP regime has come to an end.
Speaking to media persons at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development and Mines and Geology Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said, “We are taking steps to end illegal mining and smuggling of sand. Have patience. We will bring in a new policy within 15 days.”
The minister, who held a review meeting earlier in the day, said that 20 to 25 per cent of State government’s income comes from mining alone and steps are being taken to curb illegal mining and increase the revenue. The district officials would be held responsible in case of mining and transportation of sand until the new policy comes into effect. “Those who resort to sand mining violating the directive of the government will be put behind bars, invoking the Preventive Detention Act,” he warned.
The option of establishing stockyards at the sand reaches, which will be under a government corporation, is being examined.