Sand bonanza for State govt

A quantum leap of Rs 40 cr in revenue following new system of auctioning

Anticipation of implementing a new sand policy based on the Tamil Nadu model by the State government is one of the prime reasons for the jump in revenue. At the height of the truckers strike last year, the State government had announced that it would implement a new sand policy based on the Tamil Nadu model. A team of officials visited Tamil Nadu to study the model and subsequently submitted its report to the State government.

As per the Tamil Nadu Sand policy, the government will own all sand mining sources and it would fix the sand price according to the quality and sell it. The State government is planing to mobilise Rs 100 crore once the new policy is in place.

In the absence of a clear cut policy, the government held over auctioning of new sand mining pits. As a result the construction industry was hit with sand becoming scarce in the market. In this scenario, the government decided to launch a new system of sand auctioning till the new sand policy was in place.

As many as 250 sand pits were identified in the State and 100 among them were auctioned. The lease period is for one year. The sand sites in Mysore, Chamarajnagar, Haveri were most sought after and received the highest bids, points out Secretary, Department of Mines, B S Ramaprasad.

‘Local issues’

“We had not allowed sand sites auctioning in several pockets of State due to local issues. But this year, we decided to open up. Chief Secretary S V Ranganath also wrote to all deputy commissioners to ensure that the auctioning was done in a transparent manner”, he added. The new policy is likely to be placed before the next State Cabinet meeting. The auctioning of sand mining sites will continue till the new policy is approved.
The provision of the new policy in sites already auctioned will come into effect once their lease period ends (one year).

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