VIJAYAWADA: The State government is considering a proposal to allow both online and offline booking of sand, said principal secretary (Mines) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said. Recalling that customers faced hardships when the bookings were accepted only online when the AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) took care of the sand operations, he felt that the presence of both the systems will allow customers the freedom to pick their preferred choice.
Maintaining that sand mining and sale are being done in a transparent manner, Dwivedi said the government is taking all measures to make adequate sand available to the customers. Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, Dwivedi said the government has selected Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) to ensure more transparency in the sand operations, and that the government will only interfere in case of the contracting agency committing any sort of irregularity such as charging more from the customers or excavating sand in more area than prescribed.
Stating that the government used to get Rs 300 crore per year from the sale of sand when the operations were maintained by AP Mineral Development Corporation, Dwivedi said the earnings increased to Rs 765 crore per year after JPVL took over the operations.
Responding to complaints that the customers were not able to pay digitally, Dwivedi said apart from accepting cash, the agency accepts UPI payments, and operates 26 bank accounts in which cash can be deposited.
Condemning a report published in a vernacular newspaper on the alleged irregularities in sand mining and transportation, Mines and Geology director VG Venkata Reddy said the government is taking every step to prevent illegal mining, and sensitising people on the prices of sand.