Tamil Nadu government fixes basic price for sale of river sand

By Special Correspondent

The State Government has fixed the basic cost of river sand as ₹1,000 per unit and plans to take steps to open new sand quarries and government depots in two months.

According to a Government Order, approved building plans have been made mandatory for customers to book river sand loads. Besides online booking, buyers may also pay in cash at the special bank extension counters to be established at government sand depots.

Customers will also have to provide the registration number of vehicles at the time of booking, which will be verified by the Water Resources Department (WRD) during delivery. The functioning of the quarries and depots will be monitored through CCTV cameras round the clock. A centralised control room will be set up for real time monitoring of sand quarry activities across the State.

Moreover, shunting vehicles fitted with GPS equipment will have to be monitored to prevent pilferage, the Government Order said. The State Government has directed other agencies, including the Revenue Department and the Geology and Mining Department to assist in the sand quarries’ operation.

Once phase I of the sand quarries operation is completed, the facility to deliver river sand at the doorstep of the customers will be taken up by the WRD in the next phase. The decisions were taken after a review meeting held recently by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on the operation of sand quarries and sale of sand at government depots.

Priority basis

The State Government on Friday announced that river sand would be made available for individual customers on the basis of priority to reduce sand shortage both online and at the depots.

The WRD will operate 16 quarries for lorries and 21 sand quarries exclusively for bullock cart transportation. The process of obtaining environment clearances for more quarries from the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority will be expedited.

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