The Maharashtra Cabinet, in a serious bid to curb illegal sand mining in rivers and creeks and loss of revenue in the form of royalty to the state government, on Thursday approved a new policy for manual sand mining by scrapping the existing policy. Today’s decision came days after Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat in the recently held winter session of the state legislature had announced that the department will seek cabinet’s approval for the new policy for manual sand mining in the state.
As per today’s decision the sand will be available at a reasonable price to the end users. The manual sand mining period has been extended to five years. Further, the policy proposes that the successful auctioneer after the receipt of a letter of intent can obtain the environment clearance for the carrying out sand mining. However, the successful auctioneer will not be allowed to launch mining till the payment of necessary fees and charges and signing of an agreement.
However, it will be mandatory to take the recommendation of the gram sabha for conducting an auction of sand. In case, the gram sabha rejects the proposal then a committee headed by the sub divisional officer (revenue) will make a recommendation to the district level sand monitoring committee for sand auction.
According to the policy, an Upset Price will be fixed after taking into account the royalty amount and sand mined from the allotted areas.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also cleared increasing the share capital of the Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation to Rs 700 crore from Rs 500 crore. It was done as per the announcement made by the Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar in the winter session to increase the share capital of the Corporation by Rs 200 crore.