'Relax sand policy conditions for coastal districts'

'Relax sand policy conditions for coastal districts'

Urban Development and Housing and District in-charge minister U T Khader inspects the work at the new market complex in Urwa junction, Mangaluru, on Monday.

Urban Development and Housing Minister U T Khader said he has directed the Dakshina Kannada district administration to move a proposal to shelve the conditions in the separate sand policy for the coastal districts.

“It is necessary to ensure availability of sand for the local people,” said Khader, who is also the district in-charge minister.

He was speaking to reporters after inspecting the work on the new market complex at Urwa junction on Monday.

Priority for locals

“The district administration should give priority to ensure that sand is available for local residents. Along with the enforcement of the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules, transportation of sand to other districts and states should be curbed,” said Khader.

Speaking further, he said, “Separate regulations were laid for the coastal districts under the CRZ limits for the allocation of sand blocks. Separate tender processes were carried out too. Yet, after two notifications, nobody has come forward to extract sand from the blocks, owing to non-feasibility.”

The minister said that the locals have not been getting sand at affordable prices. “The sand is being sold at around Rs 15,000 a container to people from other states and districts. The district administration has been directed to ensure that the local people get sand on priority basis, and at Rs 4,000 a container,” he added.

Khader said he would discuss the matter with the deputy commissioner soon.

New complex

After inspecting the new market complex area, Khader said, “The work – which is being undertaken at Rs 10.5 crore and began in April 2017 – is likely to be completed within the next month. The new complex covers an area of 84,000 square feet. Discussion was carried out with the vendors and corporators regarding providing the vendors all possible facilities.”

He added that the administration has approved of a market complex in Kadri at a cost of Rs 12 crore. “The Urban Development Department has sent a proposal to the Finance Department on the Kankanady market at a budget of Rs 41 crore. The work on the mini market at Alake at a cost of Rs 2 crore is in progress,” he said.

The minister further said that the Central Market would be developed under the Smart City project. “Although it was decided to develop it under a PPP model, the plan was shelved as it would prove a longer procedure,” he explained.

Mayor Bhaskar K, Deputy Mayor Muhammad K, MCC Council Whip Shashidhar Hegde, corporator Pravinchandra Alva, MUDA Commissioner Srikanth Rao and MCC Commissioner B A Mohammed Nazir were present.

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