Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday held a review meeting with top officials at his Tadepalli camp office on the sand policy and directed them to maintain transparency in the policy.
The Chief Minister directed the officials concerned to improve efficiency in sand supply and quality of sand. Jagan urged the officials to bridge the gap between the supply and demand of sand in the State. Further, the Chief Minister also directed the officials to ensure that the sand is supplied on subsidized prices to the poor for the construction of houses.
“Building up the capacity can attract large companies or even the central government institutions,” he suggested. During a review meeting on New Sand Policy, Jagan also asked the officials to maintain utmost transparency in supply of sand and eliminate any scope for corruption.
“Quality sand should be supplied at affordable prices and illegal mining should be strictly curtailed. Currently, the transportation charges are very high. A single case of illegal sand mining will cause damage to the State. There should be an effective mechanism for the effective implementation of the sand policy, by ensuring transparency. We have to ensure that the transportation charges should be brought down and should be reasonable. We should introduce a challan system whereby anyone who pays challan should be allowed to transport transport. This will bridge the gap between supply and demand,” he said.
The review meeting was attended by state ministers Peddireddy Ramchandra Reddy, Perni Venkataramaiah, Kodali Venkateswara Rao and officials of the Panchayat Raj Department.
The Chief Minister also mooted a ‘token system” for supply of sand for the construction of government projects and construction of houses for the poor.
In 2019, after he swept to power, the Chief Minister had introduced a new sand policy giving full powers to state-owned AP Mineral Development Corporation Ltd to undertake sand quarrying and supply sand to the customers on behalf of the government at the stockyards set up across the state. Consumers were asked to book the sand online. It was also announced that the movement of trucks will be tracked to prevent black marketing, hoarding and artificial supply shortage.
The state government’s New Sand Policy has come under sharp criticism with opposition parties blaming the govt for pushing lakhs of workers into unemployment due to shortage of sand that has led to a slump in construction activity.
Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had often alleged that the sand scarcity was man-made as the YSRCP leaders were running a sand mafia with the patronage of Jagan Mohan Reddy.