Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Government on Saturday introduced a new Sand Mining Policy under which the old system of auctioning has been dispensed with and a lottery arrangement put in place.
Based on the recommendations made by a Group of Ministers, which reviewed the sand mining policy in the light of the Supreme Court`s verdict banning indiscriminate quarrying, the Industries Department issued an order on Saturday framing the revised policy guidelines.
The policy, if implemented effectively, will curb the growing activities of the sand mafia in the state and make sand available to all at an affordable price, officials said.
The Government Order issued by Principal Secretary (Industries) D Sreenivasulu said the existing norms of the Andhra Pradesh Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1966, were being rescinded to regulate sand quarrying activity.
"Allotment of feasible sand-bearing areas shall henceforth be through a selection process by way of draw of lots.
"Extraction of sand shall be by manual means only and use of machinery shall not be permitted except in specific sand-bearing areas where there is no impact on groundwater table," the Principal Secretary maintained.
For the first time, the Government issued guidelines for sand mining in private lands along the river beds. Only farmers who own the sand-casted land will be permitted to quarry and sell it after paying seigniorage fee to Government.
The Director of Mines & Geology has put the requirement of sand during 2012-13 for constructions/civil works in private and Government sectors at 218 lakh cubic meters and 230 cubic meters, respectively.
The district authorities have been asked to identify new sand reaches.