Subsidised sand for houses costing less than ₹10 lakh: Nirani

Government planning to formulate a new sand policy, says Minister

Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R. Nirani on Friday informed the Legislative Assembly that the State government was planning to formulate a new sand policy to ensure supply of sand at a cost ranging from ₹100 to ₹200 per tonne for those constructing houses costing less than ₹10 lakh.

In his reply to C.N. Balakrishna (JD-S) during the question hour, Mr. Nirani said the proposal on supplying sand at subsidised cost to the poor was expected to help many people constructing houses under various government schemes. Other stakeholders have to purchase sand as per the royalty fixed by the government. The government was expecting a royalty of ₹154 crore from sand in 2020–21, he said.

He said all districts had been facing shortage of sand as demand was much higher than supply. Officials at district and taluk levels had been spending nearly 50% of their time on regulation and management of sand by issuing licences and passes for extraction and transportation of the material.

Mr. Balakrishna, H.D. Revanna, K. Annadani and other JD(S) members alleged that adulterated sand was being supplied by mixing it with soil and no action had been taken against private players who were indulging in such a business. The police were in collusion with sand suppliers and natural resources were being looted across the State, they alleged.

Mr. Balakrishna claimed that M-sand manufacturers too were supplying inferior quality sand to buyers. There was no regulation or control on the exploitation of sand in Hassan and other districts owing to shortage of staff in the Mines and Geology Department, the JD(S) member said.

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