VIJAYAWADA: As the state government has announced its intention to take over mining and sale of sand with the sole purpose of making it affordable to the public by eliminating private agencies, AP Credai has made an appeal to the state government to curb the export of thousands of lorry loads of sand to neighbouring states like Telangana, Karanataka and Tamil Nadu and also to come up with a policy to ensure that local sand is used locally if it wants to fulfil its wish.
The builders associated with the AP Credai have alleged that some private agencies were mining sand from water bodies illegally and exporting thousands of lorry loads of sand to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, given the huge demand from the metros for sand in the construction industry. To meet the ever increasing demand from these metros, the local private agencies have been resorting to illegal mining of sand in water bodies in huge quantity that is affecting the local flora and fauna and causing damage to local environment. As these private agencies got more money for export of sand to the metros, local builders were finding it very difficult to get adequate quantity of sand as they cannot afford to pay such a high amount due to budget constraints of local home buyers.
To avoid this problem, the builders have appealed to the state government to set up check posts at all common border areas with the neighbouring states and curb any smuggling of local sand to other states so that it can be used locally to meet the ever growing demand from the construction industry in the state.
They stated that it would also help the generation of employment of local people as the state government has already made promises in this regard.
Secondly, the builders wanted the installation of an electronic gate and closed-circuit cameras at sand ramps so that it would help assess the quantum of sand mined and sent to the stockyard and also restrict any illegal sand mining and transport. Referring to the new sand policy that the state government has planned, the builders have said that the government wanted to set up such electronic surveillance only at the stockyard thereby giving a chance for illegal mining and transport of sand. The builders have appealed that such lacunae be addressed immediately by setting up electronic vigil even at sand ramps so that no illegal mining and transport of sand was allowed.
Thirdly, the builders have asked the state government to allow local boatmen societies to mine sand from the sand ramps, load onto their boats, bring it to the shore and offload the sand from their boats to dump at the sand ramp. They have further said that if the boatmen societies were involved, it would help them find employment on a regular basis to support their families.
Fourthly, the builders have appealed for a larger number of sand ramps to be set up in compliance with environmental norms so that sand could be excavated as per demand in the market.
AP Credai Advisory Committee chairman Buddiga Srinivas said, “Unless the state government curbs export of our sand to other states and sets up more sand ramps, keeps electronic vigil at ramps and involves local men to work, there is no point in bringing a new sand policy. It will again result in shortage of sand and cost escalation and give no relief to the commoners who will not get sand at an affordable cost.”...