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Andhra Pradesh cabinet nod to new sand policy, Polavaram hydel power contract scrapping

The Cabinet also decided to take back 412.5 acres of land allotted to Machilipatnam Port Private Limited as the firm neither started the work nor paid the rent, the minister said.

Published: 05th September 2019 06:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2019 06:38 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy during the Cabinet meeting at Secretariat in Velagapudi near Vijayawada on Wednesday I Express

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The State Cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday approved a slew of policies and schemes to fulfil the promises the YSRC made to the people ahead of elections.

Apart from taking the crucial decision of  merging the APSRTC with the State government, which paves way for treating the staff of the corporation on a par with those of the government, the Cabinet gave nod to the new sand policy, cancellation of the Rs 3,216-crore Polavaram hydel power project contract awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd, enhancement of financial assistance under YSR Pelli Kanuka and increasing the number of TTD Trust Board members to 25 from 19.

The Cabinet, which was of the view that the new sand policy, set to come into force from Thursday, would ensure supply of sand to consumers at an affordable price and protection of the environment, said the initiative would put an end to the ‘mafia’ that committed large-scale irregularities during the previous TDP regime.

Disclosing the details of the Cabinet decisions to media persons at the Interim Government Complex, Information and Public Relations and Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah said that the AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) will undertake mining and transportation of sand. The minister asserted that the price of sand will come down to a great extent as the consumers will get it directly without the involvement of ‘mafia’.

“As on today, the government has set up 41 stock points across the State and will increase the number from 70 to 80 by October. The price of sand at the stock point will be Rs 375 per tonne and the cost of transportation is fixed at Rs 4.90 per kilometre. The cost of transportation through tractors up to 10 km is Rs 500. The APMDC can extract sand in ‘patta’ lands with the consent of farmers, who will be paid Rs  60 per cubic meter,’’ the minister explained.

The APMDC has so far identified 100 sand reaches and will take desiltation at 31 locations. It has also identified ‘patta’ lands to take up sand mining at 82 locations, he said.
Stating that the government enhanced financial aid for brides under YSR Pelli Kanuka, the minister said the scheme would be launched on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami. The financial assistance for SCs has been increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh and from Rs  50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for STs. It would be Rs 1.20 lakh in case of inter-caste marriages for SC or ST brides. Similarly, the aid for BCs has been increased from Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 and the amount would be Rs 70,000 in case of inter-caste marriage. The aid for minorities has been hiked to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 50,000 and to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh for persons with disabilities. The assistance under the scheme for daughters of construction workers is Rs 1 lakh.

Stating that the Cabinet approved the cancellation of the Rs 3,216.11-crore Polavaram hydel power project contract awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd and calling for new bids in the reverse tendering process, the minister said it was also decided to recover the Rs 780 crore paid as mobilisation advance. It may be recalled that the AP High Court, in its interim order recently, suspended the GO scrapping the hydel power contract given to NCL.The Cabinet also decided to take back 412.5 acres of land allotted to Machilipatnam Port Private Limited as the firm neither started the work nor paid the rent, the minister said.

Maintaining that no discussion took place during the Cabinet meeting on the capital city issue, the minister, took a dig at the previous government’s decision to build a temporary secretariat and Assembly buildings. “The chambers in the buildings look like rooms in the hostels of Narayana Educational Institutions. After running up huge debts for the capital construction, the TDP government failed in creating assets and handed over debts and interests to the YSRC government,” he observed.

Other Cabinet decisions

Increase in the number of TTD Trust Board members to 25 from 19
Honorarium hike for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) to Rs 10,000 from Rs 3,000
Rs 10,000 annual financial assistance to those plying own auto-rickshaws, maxi cabs and cars
To write to Centre to retain the identity of Andhra Bank
To withdraw cases against those who agitated for special status to State

land alloted to DRDO
Government earmarks Rs 5 crore to provide cash incentives to sports persons who have won medals at the national level
A gold medallists will get Rs 5 lakh, Rs 4 lakh for silver medallists and Rs 3 lakh for bronze medallists
The Cabinet congratulates World Badminton Champion PV Sindhu
 Allocates five acres to Defense Research Development Organisation at Nagayalanka of Krishna district for setting up a rocket tracking system
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appealing to the Centre to desist from changing the name of Andhra Bank

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