Hyderabad: Your good intentions sometimes can go awry and become a cause of worry. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is facing the same situation when it comes to the programmes he has launched in Andhra Pradesh and specifically the sand policy.

Sand is the new gold everywhere. A lot of money is involved in the sand business and corruption, greed and plunder are not abnormal.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) cases have thoroughly exposed the nexus among the politicians (of all parties), officials and the sand mafia.

Across India, the nexus only changes its colour and the system gets a new lease of life every time a new government takes charge.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan had to demonstrate that his government is different.
But unfortunately, his government got caught up in quite an unpleasant situation, despite having many advisers. Maybe a case of too many cooks!

Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s enthusiasm to replace the corrupt sand mining regime of the previous government with his own in a tearing hurry has led to another disaster.

Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy scrapped the old policy of the Telugu Desam (TD) government and could not immediately put in place a substitute policy. It took him another three months, to announce his sand policy.

This rendered lakhs of construction labourers jobless as the non-availability of the sand brought construction activities in the state to a grinding halt.

When Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy could replace the old liquor policy with a new one without any transition problems, why did he leave the state without a sand policy for three months, after scrapping the old one?

Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy may not have expected the unusual floods. But the delay in announcing the new sand policy and the subsequent flooding of rivers have compounded to the woes of the daily wage labourers, the most vulnerable section of the society.

Sand is not available to the public even in the districts like Anantapur, where there were no floods.
There are allegations that the online booking system frequently does not log in, or a message pops up informing that there is no stock. Sometimes, the system informs that sand is unavailable in the district of the consumer and asks them to book from a far-off district.

The ruling YSRC’s counter is that these charges are politically motivated and that the issue is being politicised is a poor justification.

After all, we live in a political society, and partisan politics govern everything. The opposition parties have tried to exploit the follies of the ruling party to gain political mileage. This argument cannot be extended to push the plight of the daily wage labourers under the carpet.

Activist Anumolu Gandhi, who was responsible for the NGT slapping Rs 100 crore as interim fine on the previous government, says Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s actions are lacking in environmental concern, hence the problem.

Mr Anumoul says, “Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy is driven more by the urge to immediately scrap the previous chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s policies rather than putting in place a sustainable sand mining policy.”

He adds that Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy is not ready to initiate criminal action against the persons responsible for illegal sand mining and the officials, who had colluded with them, as per the NGT order. Gandhi says, “This show how narrower the objectives of the YSRC-led government are.”

It is high time Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy demonstrates his political sagacity through his actions.

Jinka Nagaraju

Jinka Nagaraju is a Hyderabad based journalist. He covered the entire spectrum of political activities of Telugu states from Hyderabad and New Delhi for about 3 decades. He represented Vaartha in New Delhi during the most happening decade of 1996-2006. He was political correspondent of Times of India from Hyderabad for 10 years. He was editor of Asianet’s Telugu digital platform. He contributed to many digital media outlets such as Al Jazeera, News 18, Newsable, South Post, The Lede ,Down to Earth etc. He is known for his Anthropological approach in the news analysis. He studied Physical Anthropology and prehistoric archaeology with Human population genetics as specialization, and his area of interest is Political Anthropology and Media Anthropology.

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