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HC approves sand policy

Staff Reporter

Policy allows use of earthmovers in sand extraction


Use of earthmovers and dregders in coastal

areas prohibited

Extraction will not be permitted on patta land


BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday gave its consent to the new sand policy enunciated by the State Government.

The Government order notifying the new sand policy was placed before a Division bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice A.S. Bopanna by Government Advocate Ravindra Kolhe.

Mr. Kolhe told the court that the policy was approved a few days ago and that it would come into effect immediately.

Policy

The sand policy of 2011 permits the use of mechanised boats and earthmovers in sand extraction. However, the users have to ensure that no ecological damage is caused. However, use of earth movers and dregders in coastal areas is prohibited.

Land for sand mining in coastal areas will be identified in strict compliance of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). Sand in river courses will be first identified by the Public Works Department (PWD), Revenue Department and the Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG). Such identified areas will be divided into blocks and details on the estimated quantity of sand in these areas will be given to the Deputy Commissioner.

The district sand committees, under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioners, has been reconstituted and this sand policy is implemented uniformly throughout the State except the coastal districts.

The committee is empowered to take steps to prevent illegal mining of sand and illegal transportation.

The policy makes it clear that no sand mining would be permitted in patta lands. Vehicles transporting sand would have to compulsorily install GPS and RFID equipments. The front side of a vehicles transporting sand would have to be painted yellow for easy recognition.

Only the Public Works Department (PWD) is permitted to stock sand in patta lands. However, even the PWD cannot mine sand in patta lands. Closed circuit televisions (CCTV) will be installed at permits issuing points and vehicles transporting sand will have to use routes where computerised check posts have been established.

The PWD has been asked to identify sand blocks before March 31, 2011 and also get itself equipped with the infrastructure necessary.

Order

After the Bench went through the sand policy, it gave its assent and disposed of more than 30 petitions challenging the old sand policy.

The Bench said those interested in mining sand would have to take permission under the new sand policy.

Directed

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice A.S. Bopanna on Thursday directed the Anjuman-e-Islam institution in Hubli to hold elections to the post of office-bearers as per the earlier court order of November 30, 2010.

The Bench noted that its earlier order on the election process had not been complied with. It asked the elections to be conducted on time and a report be filed before it.

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