The State Cabinet on Monday approved the Karnataka Minor Minerals Concessions Rules, 2021, and fixed the price of sand at ₹300 per tonne at the gram panchayat (GP) level. Similarly, price of sand extracted from riverbeds and streams and sold in urban areas/towns/cities has been fixed at ₹700 per tonne.
As much as 25% of the royalty from the sale of sand will have to be provided to the GP concerned through an appropriate Budget provision, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting.
In coastal regulation zone (CRZ) areas of coastal districts, the Minister said the Government has permitted the extraction of sand using traditional practices and has banned the use of machinery.
Under the new rules, the sand extracted from local streams, tanks, and lakes will be permitted to be utilised for local community works, low-housing construction works, or government works.
Sand for government construction works will be sold at concessional rates, the Minister said.
Extraction of sand from ‘patta’ lands has been banned. Only a district sand committee will take a decision on granting permission to extract sand from such land.
As per the new rules, a person who holds a licence for extraction and stocking of sand should establish an office, computer facility, close-circuit television cameras, weighing bridge, and security at the dumpyard or stockyard.
The sand extracted from streams or rivers can be transported anywhere in the State. The period of extraction will be five years or exhaustion of the permitted quantity, whichever is earlier, the rules specify.
The rules have envisaged constitution of the district sand committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner. The 11-member committee will include the ZP CEO, the SP, officials of the Water Resources, the PWD, the Forest, and other departments.
The committee will meet once in two months and take decisions on granting lease or working permission for quarrying of sand or removal of silt, inspection of sand-bearing areas of dams, reservoirs or barrages, and reserve the sand block for Central or State Government development works.
The committee also has powers to set up an independent panel of experts to assess the damage to environment owing to illegal mining and sand extraction.
The committee has been empowered to establish check posts for regulating the transport of sand and to control the its illegal transport. The committee will also punish violations of norms by permit holders.
Under the rules, the taluk sand monitoring committee, headed by the Assistant Commissioner and other department members, will meet once a month and take decisions on allocation of areas for sand extraction in taluks.
Under the rules, permit or lease holders have to pay 10% of the royalty to the District Mineral Foundation Trust and the fund will be used for rehabilitation and reclamation or any other environmental safeguards.
A committee headed by the Chief Secretary and other government officials would monitor the policy at the State level.