MLA wants separate sand policy for coastal districts

MLA wants separate sand policy for coastal districts

Claims work on 7,500 houses affected due to non-availability of sand

The Udupi district BJP Other Backward Class Morcha will organise a protest rally in front of deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday demanding intervention of the district in-charge minister to set right the problems pertaining to sand mining activities in the district.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Sunday, MLA Kota Srinivas Poojary said people in the district were worried over  non-availability of sand for constructions works.

The licence issued to the sand miners in CRZ area has expired on January 22, and the district administration had not taken any measures to renew the licences.

‘Lot of confusion’

“There is a lot of confusion over the sand blocks in non-CRZ area. The district administration claims that 11 sand ramps in non-CRZ have been allotted and tenders have been called for nine. However, as per the available information, tender has been called only for four sand blocks in the non-CRZ area,” he said.

The MLA said that per the norms, the district administration has to pay 25 per cent of the money collected through sand mining to respective gram panchayats.

The money collected for 2015 is around Rs 5.96 cr in Udupi district of which, the district administration was supposed to pay Rs 1.5 crore to the respective gram panchayats. But, not even a single rupee is released to the gram panchayats, he said.

Poojary said that rains would set in another two months after which construction works could be not taken up in the district for about four months. The government comes up with unconvincing answers whenever the question pertaining to sand mining is rised during the Assembly session, he added.

The MLA claimed that construction of around 7,500 houses in Udupi district had come to a grinding halt due to sand shortage. It has also affected the livelihood of construction labourers. He stressed that there was a need for separate sand mining policy for the coastal districts of the State.

The MLA said that the government should announce special incentives for fishermen in the upcoming budget. Minimum interest should be charged on the loans extended to fishermen and the subsidy for the housing schemes for the fishermen community should be increased, he demanded.

He added that women  from toddy-tapping community should be offered loans at two per cent interest rate up to Rs 50,000. 

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