Maharashtra introduces online sale of sand at cost price to combat illegal mining

15 February,2024 11:55 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

New regulation mandates selling sand online at a fair and competitive price, with no profit or loss, said Maharashtra minister

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. Pic/X

The Maharashtra government has announced a new programme to sell sand online at cost, with the goal of making vital construction materials cheaper while cracking down on unlawful mining. Revenue Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil announced the decision following a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, during which revisions to the sand mining policy were presented and agreed.

The updated regulation requires selling sand through an online platform on a "no profit, no loss" basis, ensuring that buyers receive the material at a fair and competitive price. Vikhe Patil emphasised that this method would not only benefit consumers but also serve as a deterrent to illegal sand mining by streamlining the process of sand acquisition and distribution while removing opportunities for exploitation and irregularities, reported PTI.

According to the report, the new strategy would request tenders for the management of sand mining operations, transportation, and the building of sand mining depots. In addition, a technical committee would be constituted under thesildars' jurisdiction to oversee sand extraction activities in creeks and rivers, increasing monitoring and control measures to prevent environmental degradation and promote sustainable resource management.

Last year, the authorities seized at least six barges and two boats during raids against sand mining in the creeks of Maharashtra's Raigad district.

According to a district administration release, police raided waterways in Panvel, Taloja, and Kharghar recently. According to reports, at least six barges and two boats equipped with suction pumps were utilised for unauthorised dredging in the creeks.

The raids resulted in the recovery of sand worth crores and the destruction of equipment used for unlawful activity, according to the announcement.

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