BENGALURU: To ensure end-users get sand at a nominal price and without hassles, the Karnataka Government will soon come out with a new sand policy, Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani announced here on Wednesday.The government is taking a number of measures to streamline the system and the new policy will ensure uniform prices for sand transportation in gram panchayat limits. The department has fixed `300/tonne for extracting sand from gorge, streams and reserves for construction of houses under government schemes and other construction activities at gram panchayat level.
“Only 183 blocks are allowed across Karnataka. Cess will be levied on tipper, lorry and other vehicles transporting sand and no charges for transporting sand in bullock carts and two-wheelers. Transportation of sand from one district to another will not be allowed and must be transported within jurisdictional limits. However, permits will be needed to transport sand for commercial purposes and from one district to another,” he said.
‘New sand policy to put an end to graft’
The aim is to help end-users get local resources at a nominal cost and to put an end to corruption. The government will not fix a limit on the quantity of sand people take for construction of houses in villages as that is not for sale. They can take sand only from places that are not auctioned and need to pay a nominal charge, Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani said.
“Charging a cess in villages will not have any impact on the department’s revenues. Even if revenue reduces by `50 crore, we can get more by streamlining the system and keeping a close watch on sand transportation by big players. The department has targeted Rs 3,750 crore for 2020-21 and measures will be taken to double the revenues for the next financial year,” he said.
District mineral foundation trusts will handle issues related to drinking water, environmental protection, health, hygiene and others and will also work on skill development, infrastructure and water conservation. Various departments will carry out the works with grants from the Mines and Geology Department, he said. The department is planning to set up Karnataka Mineral Industrial Development Board on the lines of Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board to give a fillip to the sector, he said.