TDP government implements free sand policy in Andhra Pradesh: Here’s what’s in it

The GO stated that sand would be supplied to consumers without any charges, except the cost of operations and the necessary levies and taxes.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 08, 2024 | 4:27 PM Updated Jul 08, 2024 | 4:27 PM

Andhra Pradesh free sand policy

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday, 8 July, implemented the free sand policy to ensure “transparent and accessible sand transportation across the state”.

The state government withdrew all existing sand policies and implemented the interim order effective from Monday till the Andhra Pradesh Sand Mining Policy, 2024 is formulated.

The Government Order (GO) stated that sand would be supplied to consumers without any charges, except the cost of operations and the necessary levies and taxes.

“Sand is a basic input for the construction sector, which employs a large number of people, directly and indirectly. Unless the cost of sand is kept under reasonable check, there is the likelihood of adverse socio-economic consequences of unemployment, loss of wages and impact on the investment climate and industrialisation process in the state,” the order said.

“It is the obligation of the state government to ensure that sand, which is an essential ingredient of construction activities such as irrigation works, infrastructure projects, capital buildings, etc., is available at reasonable cost to the consumers,” it added.

Also Read: YSRCP MP accuses TDP of engaging in ‘organised violence’ in Andhra Pradesh

To constitute DLSCs

The government also constituted the District Level Sand Committees (DLSC) to oversee and manage the operations.

Each DLSC will have the respective district collectors as its chairman and will comprise officials including the Superintendent of Police (SP), Joint Collector, Sub-Collector/RDO and others.

The government order also mentioned the objectives of implementing the new order.

  • Making sand available to consumers at affordable rates
  • Transparency and visibility on the sand operations.
  • Prevention of any scope for illegal sand excavation and transportation through an effective vigilance and monitoring mechanism
  • Compliance with all environmental regulations and orders issued by the Supreme Court, High Court and NGT to mitigate the environmental impact of sand excavation.

The DLSC will take over the existing stock maintained at private depots.

Also Read: Andhra, Telangana agree on three-tier approach to address bifurcation issues

To undertake de-siltation of reservoirs

It will also undertake de-siltation of reservoirs across the state to enhance the water storage capacity after preparing a feasibility report and obtaining permission from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

“There shall be no revenue share to the Government under this policy. However, the cost of operations, along with statutory levies & taxes shall be charged to the consumers,” the order said.
It added that the DLSCs would be authorised to modify these rates, wherever necessary, taking into consideration the changes in operating costs or levies and taxes from time to time.

“To prevent hoarding/ black marketing of sand and ensure availability of sand for a larger number of consumers, each consumer shall be permitted to purchase a maximum of 20 MT per day till supplies stabilise,” the order said.

However, the government prohibited stocking sand more than the requirement for own construction, re-sale of sand, transportation of sand to other states, using sand for filling purposes or any other purpose, other than building construction.

The order said that stringent action, including filing criminal cases and hefty penalties, would be imposed upon violations of the norms.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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