New rules to streamline sand mining activities

New rules to streamline sand mining activities

The State government has notified the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession (Amendment) Rules 2013, with provisions to streamline mining, transportation and storage of sand.

Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said indulging in illegal sand mining and transport has become a cognisable offence with a punishment of imprisonment up to two years and Rs 25,000 fine.

He said the new rules had provision for the constitution of taluk and district sand monitoring committees with environment officers to oversee sand mining activities. Earthmovers will not be allowed for extracting sand.

Sand mining is allowed between 10 am and 6 pm whereas it can be transported between 6 am and 6 pm. Police have the power to seize illegally mined or transported sand. 

The previous government had come out with a sand policy but, rules were not framed. As per the new rules, sand extracted from designated blocks would be dumped at spots fixed by the Public Works Department, where it would be auctioned. 

While assistant commissioners would be assigned the task of streamlining sand mining in the taluks, deputy commissioners would have to do it in districts, he said.

Jayachandra said 25 per cent of the royalty collected for sand mining would be provided to gram panchayat of the region through zilla panchayat. The remaining 75 per cent would be credited to the State’s consolidated fund.

He said that district and taluk committees are empowered to fix the sand price taking into consideration royalty, expenses towards extraction, transportation, storage and disposal among others.

Rs 7,000 per truckload

Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa said the government will take necessary steps to make sand available at affordable price to people. Sand should be available at about Rs 7,000 per truckload. Currently, more than Rs 20,000 is being charged per truckload. Taluk and district-level officials have been empowered to take necessary action to regulate the price, he added.

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