K’taka’s new sand mining policy allows extraction from 183 blocks

In a bid to provide fillip to the construction activities across Karnataka, Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R. Nirani on Wednesday said that under the new sand mining policy, 183 sand blocks have been identified where mining will be allowed across the state.

Nirani said that the new sand mining policy is aimed at ensuring easy availability of sand at lower prices.

After a meeting with the officials at Vikasa Soudha here, the Minister told the media that the department had fixed Rs 300 per tonne for extracting sand from gorge, streams and rivers.

“We have identified 183 blocks where mining will be allowed across Karnataka. While, cess will be levied on tipper, lorry and other vehicles for transporting the sand, but bullock carts and two-wheelers will be exempted from the tax,” he said.

Nirani added that transportation of sand from one district to another across the state will not be permitted while the uniform prices will be maintained for the transportation within the gram panchayat limits.

The Minister underlined that the new sand policy is investor-friendly and will help in construction activities in a big way in the state.

Nirani added that the Mines and Geology department is planning to set up Karnataka Mineral Industrial Development Board on the lines of Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) to give further impetus to mining activities in the state.

The Minister said that a single-window agency also would be set up to expedite the disposal of applications of mining proposals.

He added that the single-window agency will ensure speedy clearance of proposals among forest, environment, revenue and home departments.

“At districts, deputy commissioners will head the committees while the minister would be heading the state level panel. The DC will clear the applications for investments up to Rs 5 crore and the panel headed by the minister will approve the projects more than Rs 5 crore. This will help obtain licenses easily and get rid of red-tapism,” he said.

The Minister further added that the government is aiming to set up a mines university in the state on the lines of National Mines University in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad.