Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party President Chandrababu Naidu lamented that 20 lakh families are suffering from hunger due to the non-availability of sand in the state. He objected to the government’s claim that sand is scarce due to floods. “Sand is sent to Karnataka through Anantapuram and to Telangana through Jaggaiah Peta. How is it possible, if floods make sand unavailable?” he questioned on twitter on Tuesday.
He compared the sand rates in YSRC ruling with that of his regime. “What is the cost of sand after YSRC came to power,” he asked on Twitter. He felt that the cost was hiked four to five times in four months. The Opposition Leader asked, “Who is benefitted by the rise of sand cost in the state?” in his consecutive tweets.
In 2014, when Chandrababu took the reins of the state, he tried to form a policy on the sand. However, after lots of trials and errors, his cabinet announced that sand was free in the state. There were allegations that free sand policy became a considerable income generator to the ministers and MLAs of TDP government.
The then opposition, YSRC, accused TDP of looting natural resources and Jagan has promised to review the “free sand policy”. Ever since YSRC came to power, there was a brainstorm on an ideal sand policy. After many think tanks, the government has opened 41 sand reaches in the first week of this month. It announced that another 30 to 40 reaches would be available by October end.
Meanwhile, sand has become insufficient due to floods for the last few weeks. “When the floods start to recede, there will be sufficient sand in the state,” said Minister for Geology and Mining P Ramachandra Reddy. “The opposition is unnecessarily making hue and cry over the issue. TD leaders earned crores of rupees in the guise of free sand by robbing natural resources,” he added.