The State government on Wednesday made changes to its new sand policy that was introduced on September 5, 2019. The government, after 45 days of experimental use of the new policy found that the individuals constructing their houses too were facing some difficulties in getting sand.
Though the government had identified 271 sand reaches across the State for mining, it is only operating in 71 reaches now due to heavy floods. There are equal number of sand stock points in the State from where the sand can be lifted by the customers. However, the sand transporters too are not supporting the government for political reasons, as most of them are associated with the opposition Telugu Desam Party. It is here that the State government had already asked the finance corporations to extend loan facilities to the unemployed youth to buy trucks and tractors to be engaged in sand transport.
While the process is likely to take a couple of months, the State government had brought in some changes to the sand policy. It now allows individuals to excavate sand directly from the sand reaches and take it on their own by paying a minimum fee to the government. This would be allowed to the individual customers both in the cities and rural areas.
The individual customers would have to register their names with the village or ward secretariats for sand and can go directly to the sand reach for excavation. They are advised to use tractors for sand and not heavy trucks. The government felt that this decision would help hundreds of individuals who are constructing houses across the state, both in the rural and urban areas as well.
The government is fighting a tough battle in removing the sand syndicates from the business, who have been into the business and making huge profits at the cost of the people for the past five years. Sand had become one of the major sources of income for many, particularly those associated with the TDP. As the new government had taken the decision to remove these individuals from the field, they are not cooperating with the government and have refused to give their vehicles for sand transportation