Mangaluru, March 6, 2016 (DHNS): Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni has said that 38 sand blocks have been identified, spread across an area of 506.56 acres, in the non-CRZ area of Dakshina Kannada.
After a review meeting in Mangaluru on Sunday, the minister told reporters that licences have been sanctioned for 36 blocks in 481.598 acres. “Tenders have been invited through the Public Works Department for allocation of 23 sand blocks. Eleven tenders have been received for 11 blocks, out of which, five have been qualified. Re-tender will be invited for the allocation of remaining blocks. The order for re-tendering will be issued by Wednesday,” he explained.
The minister, however, warned that the work for extraction of sand in the CRZ area can be undertaken only after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) clears it. “The environment clearance that had been issued for extraction of sand from the river beds in the CRZ area expired on January 16. The Department has sought fresh clearance from the MoEF to extract mining of sand in the CRZ area,” said Kulkarni.
As many as 19 sand blocks have been identified in the CRZ area in the district, from which 20.4 lakh metric tonnes of sand can be extracted. In the State, 549 sand blocks have been identified and 89 of 110 blocks have been auctioned, he said.
“Efforts are being made to simplify the rules of tender so as to facilitate the availability of sand locally. This will be done as soon as environment clearance is obtained from the Central Ministry. Discussion has been carried out to chalk out measures for solving sand shortage problem in the state. A team has visited Tamil Nadu and conducted a study and has submitted a report recommending the allocation of sand through PWD, on Tamil Nadu model,” said Kulkarni.
In Dakshina Kannada, Rs 46.478 lakh fine was collected in 306 cases related to unlicensed sand mining while Rs 141.890 lakh fine was collected in 1,101 cases of illegal transportation of sand, the minister added.
Speaking further, he said that 86 units of manufactured sand are initiated in the State, to address the problem of sand shortage. “In Bengaluru City alone, there are 40 such units.
Manufactured sand can be used as a substitute for sand. The government has been encouraging m-sand units by providing them subsidies. There is requirement of 28,000 lakh metric tonnes of sand in the State a year and 10,000 lakh metric tonnes of manufactured sand will be produced. In six years, the production will be doubled. One load (16 tonne) of m-sand costs Rs 10,000,” he explained.
Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader, Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim and Superintendent of Police Dr Sharanappa S D were present at the press meet.