‘Loading charges’ on sand a burden: BJP

People had paid Rs. 1,000 crore additionally on sand in the last four years despite the government doing away with seigniorage on the commodity, BJP floor leader P. Vishnu Kumar Raju charged here on Friday.

Speaking at the Assembly media point, Mr. Raju said money was being collected from the people in the form of “loading charges.”

Stating that several political bigwigs had been making a lot of money this way, Mr. Raju said he had taken the issue to the notice of the Chief Minister many a time.

Because of the “loading charge,” there was no transport of sand into Visakhapatnam city for over a fortnight, and all construction activity, including government work, had come to a grinding halt, Mr. Raju observed.

Many truck loads of sand was being smuggled out of the State even as local people faced scarcity, Mr. Raju alleged. None in the TDP was speaking about the irregularities in sand mining, the BJP leader said, and added that he had been fighting against the sand mafia from the beginning.

BJP MLC Somu Veerraju said a mafia was controlling sand in the State. Both the TDP and YSRCP ere partners in the sand business, he added. Mr. Raju said the YSRCP demand for suspension of the 22 MLAs who had defected to the TDP was fair. While the government should consider the demand, the opposition party should think about attending the Assembly for the sake of democracy.

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