BENGALURU: To curb inflation of sand prices and ensure more revenue generation for a cash-strapped Karnataka, the state cabinet on Thursday has decided to expand sand mining that was limited to river basins and deltas. The cabinet approved a new sand policy that will now allow mining in tanks, ponds and even patta lands.
“The cabinet today decided to permit mining in tanks, ponds, patta lands in gram panchayat limits. It has agreed to create an authority to govern over the new policy. Tahsildars of respective taluks will have the power to allot quotas and allow mining,” said JC Madhuswamy,
Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs. Speaking to TNIE, the minister insisted that the new policy, which has been discussed earlier as well, was finally approved to address sand shortage and fluctuation in prices. “The tentative price we have fixed for sand used in construction of government buildings or Janata houses etc is Rs 700/metrictonne. Big business and construction houses will have to bid for the quota of sand as well as rates,” he pointed out. He added that the new policy will add Rs 60-70 crores to the treasury.
While the focus of the cabinet revolved around the new sand policy and COVID-19 containment measures, smaller decisions like changes to a penalty clause in the Department of Personnel Administration and Reforms were approved. “Under DPAR, there was no categorisation of the existing penalty clause. There was no clear distinction of who should be subjected to what kind of penalty. The cabinet decided on categorisation,” Madhuswamy added.
The cabinet also withdrew cases against four personnel from the department of public instruction following completion of a Lokayukta investigation. “Despite the completion of Lokayukta investigation, there were requests to send the case for review once again. But in public interest, the cabinet has decided to withdraw cases against four staffers,” the minister added.