Rules framed for sand mining

The new rules, gazetted on July 2, envisages regulating sand mining by laying down a number of restrictions. The new rules aimed to end reckless sand mining that is causing serious damage to the environment.

As per the amended rules, the Public Works Department (PWD) has been entrusted with the responsibility of sand extraction, transportation, storage and disposal. A district-level committee headed by the deputy commissioner will monitor the activities of the PWD, besides identifying the sand deposits.

Hitherto, the department of Mines and Geology used to lease out the mining blocks to private individuals and companies. Mining and transportation of sand was not regulated.

Under the new regime, the PWD will extract sand from the mining blocks and auction the extracted sand to public and sand traders. Use of cranes and mechanised boats for mining has been prohibited in the coastal districts of Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada. Mechanised sand mining in waterspread areas has been prohibited. Machines can be used only for lifting sand on the river banks.

Those who transport sand will have to instal GPS on their vehicles and paint yellow on the front side. The government will soon issue a separate notification fixing the load limit. The transporters have to obtain permits for transporting sand. The new rules have also imposed a ban on stocking of sand for sale, transportation of sand across the State boundary and mining within 500 metres of wells meant for water supply and bridges.

The new regime

* PWD to mine sand and sell it to sand traders and public
* Mechanised sand mining banned in coastal regions
* In other districts, machines can be used only for lifting sand
* Transporters should obtain permits to transport sand
* Should instal GPS on the vehicles transporting sand
* Ban on transporting sand across the State boundary
* Ban on stocking for sale

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