Mumbai: The state government is considering allowing import of sand after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed ban on dredging sand from perennially flowing water bodies. The decision will be taken as there is huge demand for sand in construction industry and the same decision has been taken by neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Replying to a debate on a calling attention notice moved by Vinayak Mete of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chandrakant Patil, minister for revenue informed the upper house that in view of the NGT ban, the government is considering giving the rights of the state run Minor Minerals and Metals Corporation to call for auction of sand.
Dr Sudhir Tambe of Congress urged the government to promote the use of fly ash generated out of burning coal at thermal power plants as artificial sand. Patil replied, “The government has cleared the proposal for use of fly ash in construction activities like housing, road construction, dams and other construction activities.” Patil added that the reason for doing so is that current royalty rates over minor minerals is just Rs 800 per brass whereas the rates in the open market are Rs 8,000 per brass of sand.
Patil replying to another query said, “The government has hiked the per brass quantity of sand for construction of houses for personal use from two brass to five brass. In the case of sand used by government for official construction works like dams, the government can procure sand without auction.”