To make sand available easily and at a cheaper price, the Karnataka state cabinet has framed new rules and guidelines for the sand policy. Though the previous government under BS Yediyurappa had announced the new policy, the guidelines had not been framed. The new rules will allow people to buy the building material online, and also empower panchayats, which can issue permits for sand extraction within their jurisdictions.
The guidelines have been framed for three sources — sand coming from gram panchayat limits, from riverbeds and from the sea. The authorities to give approvals have already been finalised and the government is likely to issue a notification soon. The authority will not only give permission for extracting sand from river beds but also will act as enforcement and monitoring agency.
At gram panchayats, the price of sand has been fixed at Rs 300 per metric tonne (MT), while sand extracted from river beds and supplied to urban areas will be priced at Rs 700 per MT. Mysuru Mines and Minerals Ltd and Hatti Gold Mines have been given the power to extract sand from river beds.
The State government collects 50 per cent of the royalty levied on sand. Of this, half or 25 per cent will be given to panchayats. If required, additional grants from the remaining 25 per cent will be provided to panchayats to develop roads that are damaged due to the transportation of sand.