Sand extraction in CRZ areas: Permits to be issued soon

Sand extraction in CRZ areas: Permits to be issued soon

The permits for extracting sand from sand bars in CRZ areas will be issued by Friday, said Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil.

Briefing reporters here, on Wednesday, he said that permits would be issued to 76 people for extracting sand from the 16 blocks identified. The sand blocks have already been verified by the authorities concerned.

Pointing that in-stream mining has been banned all over the country by National Green Tribunal, he said sand mining is banned in CRZ areas. "Now, only the sand blocks which provide safe navigation channels for fishing boats, are allowed to be extracted."

Stating that there is a need to give thrust for extracting sand from non-CRZ areas, he said there was little interest in extracting sand that is abundantly available in rivers in non-CRZ areas. Out of 22 blocks identified, the authorities could issue permits for extracting sand in only two blocks as nobody had come forward to apply for the tender in other blocks.

As there was lukewarm response from the bidders for sand extraction in non-CRZ areas, the district administration had relaxed the conditions.

The condition that a bidder should be a resident of Gram Panchayat where the sand blocks are identified has been relaxed. "Instead of Gram Panchayat, he /she should be a resident of the taluk where the sand blocks have been identified," he said.

The turnover of the bidder should be Rs 5 lakh per year instead of Rs 25 lakh per year.

Further, the bidder will get five years lease for extracting the sand instead of one year.

The authorities will float the tender once again for extracting sand from non-CRZ areas and the district administration is confident of getting good response after the relaxation of the conditions, he said.

Out of the identified blocks in non-CRZ areas, seven blocks are reserved for government works. By December-end, the sand extraction in non-CRZ areas will commence with the completion of all tender processes.

Sand rate

To a query on fixing the rate for sand, the DC said that when the extraction of sand commences, then the price is likely to come to Rs 3,000 per load. If the price is not controlled, then it will be decided in the next sand monitoring committee meeting. A control room will also be set up to help the public to air their grievances to the authorities on exorbitant rate. 

Further the Senthil said that the process to de-silt sand from Thumbe vented dam has been initiated by floating a tender for the same.