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Karnataka to formulate new sand extraction policy

The State government has proposed to bring out a new sand extraction policy for meeting the demand-supply gap. The government is likely announce it in the State Budget, which will be presented on March 5.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday chaired a meeting with top officials and discussed the pros and cons of the existing policy. A draft policy, taken up at a Cabinet sub-committee meeting, was discussed, and Mr. Yediyurappa told officials to formulate a new sand policy based on the sub-committee’s recommendations.

The present requirement of sand in the State is 45 million tonnes. There are many manufactured sand (M-sand) units in the State, and they have been producing 30 million tonnes. About 4.5 million tonnes extracted from patta lands, official sources said.

About 2 lakh tonnes of sand is being transported to Karnataka from neighbouring states. The State is facing a shortage of 8.5 million tonnes of sand and suitable amendments will be made to the existing law to meet this shortage, the sources said.

The new policy is expected to enable crackdown on illegal sand extraction and ensure availability of sand at lower prices for those in need. The construction industry has been hit following the ban on extraction of sand from rivers. The new policy is also expected to give boost to M-sand units for safeguarding environment. It is also expected to provide subsidy on interest on loans taken to set up M-sand units to promote production of M-sand in districts.

Source: thehindu.com

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