New sand policy hits construction industry'

New sand policy hits construction industry'

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, he said as per the policy decision, the PWD will auction the sand. This will affect the price of the sand in the district. The sand which was available for Rs 3,000 per load would be sold at Rs 8,000 or Rs 12,000 per load once the sand policy comes into effect. “The state’s new sand mining policy, seems to have struck another blow to the construction industry in the coastal region. Under the new policy, sand mining blocks would be auctioned, and the whole process would be under the supervision of the public works department through tenders. There is a fear that the labour-intensive mining process will soon become more capital-intensive, and more machinery will be used by those winning the auction, thus also escalating costs. The traditional sand miners directly employed in the business will lose their jobs,” he said.

Sathyapal Rai said “after the sand policy was okayed in the Cabinet, Minister Dr V S Acharya had promised to frame a separate policy for the Coastal districts comprising Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada after considering the geography of the region in a meeting held on June 16, 2011. However, the promises have remained only on paper and the officials have failed to frame a policy to facilitate the traditional sand miners of the region. If the authorities fail to convene a meeting by September 28 to solve the problem, then the protest will be held in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office on the following day.”

He said “there are 800 to 1,000 lorries transporting sand in the district. About 500 to 600 lorries will enter the city to take part in the protest.

To a query on the installation of Global Positioning System (GPS), Ullal said that 1,078 sand transporting lorries have been fitted with GPS in the district.

Those lorries which have not fitted with GPS are not sand transporting lorries and the district administration should initiate action against such lorries, he added.