Stating that the present sand policy in Telangana has become a scourge of corruption Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy has announced that a new sand policy would be unveiled with the interests of the consumers in mind apart from generating revenue for the government.
He asked the officials to study the sand policies adopted by Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states in the country.
Revealing some information, the Chief Minister said that surprise inspections were already conducted in Nizamabad and Warangal with the transport department on February 3. During the inspections 83 sand lorries were checked and 22 lorries were found to be unauthorised. Four to five lorries were found transporting sand with the same permit and same number.
Mr. Reddy said the surprise inspection revealed 25% of the sand was being moved illegally and all these irregularities were taking place with the epicentre being Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC).
Expressing his anger over the irregularities in sand quarrying and transportation, he directed the officials that they should be stopped within 48 hours and ordered the deployment of Vigilance and ACB teams to end the illegal mining and sales. “No one responsible should go scot-free and strict action should be initiated against those who are involved in illegal sand trade.”
Fine for violations
He also directed the officials to prepare a report based on the data recorded at the toll gates on all the routes and immediately check all the sand reaches and impose fines for violations. He made these comments at a review meeting with the Mining Department.
When the officials explained that CCTV cameras were installed at all the sand quarries, he expressed his dismay and recalled his visit to the Tanugula Sand Quarry in Maneru river during his padayatra in Jammikunta in Karimnagar in March last. There were no CCTVs there, he remarked.
The Chief Minister also ordered the seizure of stone crushers operating without permission around Hyderabad and asked the officials to take measures to create awareness among people on laying gravel and building material on the roads while constructing huge complexes.
He also directed the Mineral Resources Department to collect tax as per rules if excavations for cellars are carried out underground at a depth of more than six meters. An integrated online system will be developed to collect the details of such buildings and the Mines and Geology Department visit the places to issue permissions for constructions.
The CM also suggested using geo-tagging and GPRS to prevent illegal granite and mineral mining and smuggling. He also sought a detailed report on the pending cases related to granite as well as other quarries and the status of the cases before the agencies.