Cabinet approves separate sand policy for coastal districts

Cabinet approves separate sand policy for coastal districts

The state Cabinet on Monday approved a special policy to regulate extraction of sand in the coastal districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

A separate sand policy for the coastal districts was mooted at least three years ago, in the backdrop of sand prices skyrocketing after the National Green Tribunal imposed restrictions on sand extraction in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

“The policy has been framed by a Cabinet sub-committee that was formed under my chairmanship. The advocate general, in his opinion, has said there can be a sand policy for the coastal region. Hence, the Cabinet has approved the policy,” Law Minister TB Jayachandra told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Sand blocks extracted by traditional sand miners will be allocated under the new policy. “There are restrictions imposed by the Central government in the CRZ. But there are communities that have been extracting sand in traditional ways in the non-CRZ regions. They go in boats, get underwater and take out sand. These will be allocated to those who are certified by a tahsildar that they have been residing in a village for 10 years and that they are engaged in traditional sand extraction for five years. There should also be dedicated places for sand collection and storage,” Jayachandra explained.

The Department of Mines and Geology will implement the policy, he added.

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