Bhopal: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar has criticized state government for opening sand mining sector for common man in the name of generating employments. Interacting with media here on Tuesday, Patkar said the government decision will prove detrimental for environment and rivers of the state. Lashing out at Chief Minister, Patkar alleged that by taking such decision Shivraj Singh Chauhan has gone back on his promise he made during “Narmada Seva Yatra”.

The decision of unregulated sand mining is just reverse of the promises he had made, she added. It seems that government is working under pressure of mining mafia, alleged the NBA leader. The main intension of opening sand mining to all is to increase the state income and since Panchayats will now play a major role, the income will now be divided, it is nothing but a big political game plan, she added.

She stated that the State new sand mining policy was neither as per February 27, 2012 guidelines set by Supreme Court, nor it is in accordance with national sand mining policy. This MP stand policy will also have adverse effects on environment, aquatic life so it is also in violation of Environment Act 1986, said Patkar. In a major decision, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had on November 14, threw open the sand mining sector for the common man to “generate employment opportunities and provide sand at cheaper rates”.

The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting to formulate a new sand mining policy whereby any individual who requires the commodity would be able to dig sand at will and take it away. There are a total 1,266 sand mines in the state, of which 445 have been auctioned. This new policy will be implemented in the remaining 821mines.