E-auction for sand mining halted in Andhra Pradesh

Officials asked to take stern action against illegal transportation of sand.

Kakinada: The Andhra Pradesh government has shelved e-auctions for sand mining in the state, saying that it was not able to get proper price in these auctions. The government felt that the guidelines for e-auctions and tenders for sand mining have not been properly laid down and this caused to confusion among contractors as well as officials.

The e-auctions for sand had started from February 13 and it was to continue on February 15 and 16. Suddenly, the government instructed the officials to stop the process. However, the district administration has taken steps for re-opening of sand reaches until a new sand policy is in place.

“Due to the need to overcome the problem of shortage of sand for the people, five sand reaches would be re-opened from February 16,’’ said district collector H. Arunkumar.

He instructed officials to keep a strict vigil at the re-aches against irregularities and illegal transporting of sand mining. Officials should make use of CC TV cameras for proper supply of sand. He gave the responsibility for curbing illegal transportation of sand to revenue, police and panchayat raj departments and warned officials against action if any instance of illegal sand mining or illegal transporting was noticed.

According to officials, the five sand reaches such as Ankampalem, Jonnada, Mandapalli, Muggall and Kethavani Lanka would be re-opened on Tuesday. As per the new guidelines, 7,000 cubic meters of sand can be excavated in the five reaches. The collector said panchayat secretary and revenue secretary of the respective villages should maintain strict vigil against sand mining. However, the reaches which were not allowed for the public can be mined the sand used for government construction purposes, said joint collector S. Satyanarayana.

Meanwhile, housing contractors, real estate builders and individuals constructing houses have appealed to state against irregularities in the supply of sand to them as they are already incurring losses due to improper sand mining.

“Three years ago, sand was available at Rs.2,500 per three units. Now, it is difficult to get sand for construction. Construction cost has also gone up,” they said and requested the government to take steps in the interest of the people.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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