HYDERABAD: The state government would deal with sand mafia with an iron hand, mines minister T Harish Rao assured the state Assembly here on Monday.
Replying to a question raised by DK Aruna of the Congress and others, Harish Rao said the KCR-led government had introduced a new sand policy soon after assuming power, as a result of which not only sand prices were brought down but also there was availability of sand for the poor and middle class.
In the past sand had become scarce and pricey but stringent steps taken by the government resulted in the availability of sand in plenty and at nominal price.
Claiming that sand prices had come down by half, he said that in 2013-14 a 10-tonne tipper load of had cost Rs 30,000 but today its cost ranged from Rs 11,000 to Rs 15,000.
Apart from sand becoming cheaper, profits have increased drastically during the current financial year to about Rs 365 crore thanks to the transparency in the government’s policy. The revenue generated from sand auctions during the Congress rule was hardly Rs 8 crore, he pointed out and refuted the charge of Aruna and others that sand mafia was active in the state. “We will crush sand mafia with an iron hand,” he said.
Not satisfied with the answer, Congress members rose to their feet as Aruna went to the Well asking speaker S Madhusudhana Chary to allow her to speak but her plea was rejected by the speaker.