Lukewarm response for non-CRZ sand in DK

Lukewarm response for non-CRZ sand in DK

The process of floating tenders for extracting sand from non- CRZ areas in Dakshina Kannada district received lukewarm response on Monday.

The conditions laid down by the government for the applicants and the lack of usual enthusiasm in the bid process had ensured that the tender exercise was a failure once again.

The Mines and Geology department had floated tenders for extracting sand from 15 sand blocks identified in non-CRZ areas thrice in a row. The authoriries so far had finalised the tenders only for two blocks. None had participated in tenders floated for extracting sand in remaining 13 blocks. Now, the department is planning to float tenders once again.

40 sand blocks

The department had identified 40 sand blocks in non-CRZ areas in Nethravathi, Gurpura and other rivers in the district. It is estimated that 3.80 lakh tonne sand is available in these blocks.

There is high demand for mining sand in CRZ areas. As the authorities had laid a few conditions under Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, the contractors had shown no interest in extracting sand in non- CRZ areas.

When contacted, Mines and Geology department Deputy Director Sumithra told DH, “We had invited tender thrice for auctioning 15 sand blocks in the first phase. But we could finalise contract for one block each in Puttur and Mangaluru only. We will seek permission on floating tender for the remaining 13 blocks once again.”

In the second phase 25 blocks were identified, of which, six blocks will be earmarked for PWD works and two blocks for Panchayat Raj Engineering department works. The tender process for the remaining 17 blocks will be taken up shortly, she said.

Relaxation in conditions
As according to the conditions, those participating in tender for ‘A’ category block should have a business transaction of Rs 25 lakh and to participate in B category block one should have business transaction of Rs 10 lakh.

“DK Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil’s attention will be drawn to the stringent conditions and lukewarm response from contractors. It was DC who had written to the Chief Secretary on the need to relax norms in order to ensure competitive bidding,” sources in the district administration said.

Another condition is the contractor should be a local person and should have minimum of five years experience, has left many contractors disappointed, sources added.