Mangaluru, Oct 19, 2016: Even as sand extraction is yet to resume fully in rivers within the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) in Dakshina Kannada, consumers might have to pay more for this sand, which was hitherto available for about Rs. 3,500 a truck (10 tonnes) within 10 km of the extraction area.
Deputy Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha has asked the Mines and Geology and the Public Works departments to work out the cost of extraction and transportation and arrive at a reasonable price within a week. Mr. Jagadeesha told The Hindu that the indicative price should also include the cost of transportation to different areas of the district. If the permit-holder sells sand above the prescribed rates, action will be initiated against him, the official said.
The district-level sand extraction monitoring committee had earlier fixed Rs. 3,500 for a load of sand to be supplied within a distance of 10 km from the dhakke (sand collection yard). For every additional 5 km, Rs. 500 extra was charged.
Officials of the Mines and Public Works Department said they have to compute the actual cost of extraction and loading of sand following a strict ban on using machinery to load sand at the dhakke. Obviously, the cost will go up, they said.
Sand Federation president Mayoor Ullal said that with the ban, at least five workers have to be engaged per truck. While a dozen would have loaded one truck in 15 minutes, five workers would take about an hour. The cost therefore gets almost tripled, from about Rs. 300 a truck to Rs. 700-800, he said.
Therefore, the permit-holders have sought at least Rs. 5,000 per load for a distance of up to 10 km, with Rs. 750 charged for every additional 5 km.
Meanwhile, the district administration should hasten the inspection process of dhakkes and allow resumption of extraction, Mr. Ullal said. As of now, only about 70 of 400 permit-holders have been allowed to resume extraction, he said.
Courtesy: The Hindu