State's sand policy is more transparent: Andhra Pradesh minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy

The minister said that auction for mining sand was conducted through a Central agency MSTC, but not by the State government.

Published: 15th May 2022 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2022 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh Geology Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy

Andhra Pradesh Geology Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  Asserting that the sand policy is being implemented with utmost transparency, Minister for Mines and Geology Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said the new policy was rolled out only after a comprehensive study and feedback from the public and rectifying the errors in the previous policy.

Denying the reported irregularities in sand mining operations in a vernacular daily, the minister while speaking to mediapersons in Tirupati on Saturday said that auction for mining sand was conducted through a Central agency MSTC, but not by the State government.

Terming that giving sub-contract not an unusual thing, he said the firm that got the bid through the tendering process has every right to give sub-contract and the government has nothing to do with it. Despite knowing all these facts, the opposition and a section of the media were trying to mislead the people by attributing corruption and irregularities to the sand policy, he alleged.

The sub-contract may be given to any agency. But the government only sees whether the contract was agreed obeying the mining Act or not and in case of any irregularities in sand transportation, the government will take over the deposited amount, he explained.

Asserting that the government constituted the Special Enforcement Bureau to check any sort of irregularities in sand mining and transportation, he said a toll free number 14500 was also set up to receive complaints. Apart from registering thousands of cases, 1,400 vehicles were also seized in the SEB raids.

CCTV cameras and 485 checkposts were set up and weighbridges were also arranged at the sand reaches to check any irregularities. Informing that the government is getting Rs 750 crore revenue per year on sand operations and it will get Rs 3,750 crore in five years, he sought to know where the money went during the previous TDP regime.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Vijayawada, Director of Mines and Geology (in-charge) WB Chandrasekhar asserted that the sand policy is being implemented with utmost transparency. Apart from regular reviews, SEB, vigilance teams of the Mines Department, local police and revenue staff take action immediately after receiving any complaint with regard to illegal sand operations, he said.

Stating that there is a provision in the tender norms allowing the sub-contract, he said the Jaypee Group which got the bid in the auction, can give sub-contract to any agency, but it will have to face action if any irregularities take place in sand mining operations.

He also said there is a provision for payment of money online to purchase sand and the bank account numbers are being displayed at sand reaches.


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