Amaravati: Taking note of the onset of south-west monsoon in the state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed to open all the sand reaches in the state, in order to stock around 70 lakh tonne of sand. From June 11, orders for sand can be booked from respective village secretariats, the Andhra government announced.
The CM said that there is a need to increase sand mining in Srikakulam, East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Nellore districts and at least 3 lakh tonne should be extracted. Calling for new sand resources to be set up in the state, the CM also pointed out that sand mining activities need to be increased in districts which have more reaches.
People with smaller needs can draw sand from any source within 5 km and the matter should be informed to the village secretariat, the officials said. Meanwhile, bulk orders will be dealt by the joint collector and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will come into force from June 10.
It may be recalled that the state had brought forth a new sand policy in September 2019, by scrapping the former ‘free sand’ policy. As per this, a tonne of sand will be available for Rs 370 at sand stockyards owned by the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC). The policy is considered to be a result of the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s intervention on Andhra’s illegal sand mining problem.
The NGT, in April, 2019, had imposed an interim penalty of Rs 100 crore on the Andhra Pradesh government, for “inaction to prevent illegal sand mining” in the state.
Speaking about the liquor policy in the state, Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy also stated that they “have closed down 43,000 belt shops and reduced the number of liquor shops by 33 per cent besides cutting down the number of working hours after taking over the liquor trade.”
“Serious action will be initiated against illegal sale and transport of liquor and sand,” he said.