Govt. mulls scrapping permits for use of sand for individual houses

The State government has proposed to scrap the necessity of obtaining permits within the district for transportation and use of sand for construction of individual houses.

Minister for Mines and Geology Murugesh Nirani told presspersons that the existing sand policy would be amended for eliminating procedures such as obtaining permits from PWD and gram panchayat authorities for transportation and use of sand within the district for construction of individual houses or houses to be constructed under the government schemes and not for commercial purposes. The proposed changes would benefit families constructing houses for their personal use, he said.

However, permits would have to be obtained from authorities for inter-district movement of sand as well as use of sand within the district for commercial purposes such as construction of apartment complexes.

The price of sand would remain uniform in all GPs in the State. A sum of ₹300 is fixed per tonne of sand extracted from small streams, pits and ponds, he said. A total of 183 sand blocks have been identified in the State for sand mining. Cess would be levied for transportation of sand in tipper, lorry and other heavy vehicles.

In the new mining policy, which would be announced soon, he said separate action plans would be formulated for coastal, middle and north Karnataka districts taking into account weather and seasonal demand. Mr. Nirani said the demand for sand was more in three coastal districts during summer as it was difficult to undertake constructions during the rainy season. Moreover, sand extraction was not possible during rains in coastal regions, he said.

It was proposed to set up a Karnataka Mineral Industrial Development Board on the lines of KIADB, and a mining university in the State.

In line with ‘ease-of-doing business’, he said it was proposed to establish a “single window” agency to expedite applications for mining. This would reduce harassment faced by the investors to get permits from different departments.

District-level and State-level clearance committees would be set up for clearing investments below ₹5 crore and above ₹5 crore, respectively, he said.

Currently, an investor has to get a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the Revenue Department (deputy commissioner), and Forest Department (deputy conservator of forests), and environment clearance certificate from the Pollution Control Board before final approval from the Directorate of Mines & Geology Department. In case of patta land (private land coming through ancestral property), one has to get NoC from the tahslidar.

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